Wednesday, April 6, 2011

God Makes People Mad All The Time.

If you like making people mad this post is not for you. I know there are people in the world who do like making people mad and they need someone else to speak into their lives because all I would say would be "Hey, stop making people mad. It's making me feel uncomfortable." And really how helpful is that?

If, however, making people mad makes you miserable -- welcome to my world. I hate making people mad. I hate disappointing people. I hate burdening them or annoying them. These are some of the worst feelings I can think of and ones that I avoid at many costs. Earlier this week I realized this is something that I avoid at too many costs.

I was "playing" outside with my girls on a beautiful morning. Actually I was ignoring them and brushing off their excited comments so I could focus on doing something that was a total waste of time and that I wasn't even enjoying. Why? Because someone (who is not a regular reader of my blog nor a family member and so probably not you) had suggested it to me and I knew if I didn't finish by that afternoon they would find out and know I hadn't taken their suggestion.

All of a sudden (probably after shushing one of my kids or saying "Oh nice." and not even looking up at the dirt mound they had built) I asked myself. "Why the heck am I still doing this?" and before I had time to contrive a good reason I answered myself (Yes, that IS what crazy people do.) "So I won't make {REDACTED} mad."

Wow. And I had to admit that was the whole reason I was doing it. Not another reason at all was even contributing to it. Because I didn't want to risk disappointing someone I was neglecting the important for what in this case was utterly pointless. Ouch.

And then I had the most liberating thought I have had in a while. God makes people mad all the time. He is perfect and He is good and He is kind and He IS love and yet he manages to make millions of people angry every single day. I place a high value on how much what I do will please or displease others. It was huge epiphany for me to realize that in this way I was not sharing God's values. When Jesus was on Earth he made people angry too. He made them angry enough to kill him. I let whether or not something will anger or disappoint someone be the deciding factor in whether or not I do a lot. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say I do that all the time. That's not what Jesus did.

I thought I was thinking of others by not wanting to make them mad, but in reality I was thinking of myself. I wasn't trying to prevent the suffering of others I was trying to mitigate my own discomfort by making sure by whatever means I felt necessary people were rarely displeased with me. My avoidance of the anger of others is nothing like godliness. It is definitely not Christlike. At root it is selfishness and one thing I know about selfishness is that it makes everything worse.

So where do I go from here? Start making people mad on purpose? Stop considering at all how my actions will affect others? No, of course not. As Sissy would say, "Thas not kind!" As Afton would say, "Now you're just being wacky." I think I need to stop dressing up my own self-protective tendencies like they are sacrificial love and learn to really love sacrificially the way Jesus did. His unselfishness, love, and willingness to sacrifice are unmatched in history but he was not afraid of the anger of men. I think the more I grow to be like Him the less afraid of it I will be as well.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

such good truth! I also hate making people angry, disappointed, unhappy etc. It is good to be reminded that a holy God does so all the time and it is still good.