When we get angry at someone we love, we usually just get mad and then get even. Our anger is rarely used for the ultimate goal of benefiting the one who has aroused our anger. But when God gets angry with us, He always has a “so that” in His thinking. Yes, God’s passionate love for us can be aroused to anger, but it’s always so that we’ll be benefited and ultimately redeemed.
Remember my money tweaker confession in “Love Includes Anger Part I” post? My defense against my wife’s legitimate complaints was simply, “You can’t be mad at me and think you somehow love me.” But my wife’s anger was not only legitimate, it was communicated fairly and with the purpose of helping me. Her angry comment, “Andy this is not okay! You have a real problem!” was necessary to get my attention, cut straight to my heart, and let me know that I had a real problem that wounded the person I loved most. We had a long talk that day. Aleta made it clear that there were real consequences for my problem that would not just go away; it was building a wall between us, I was becoming a worshiper of my check balance rather than God, and I needed to let go of checkbook and bill paying responsibilities for a while. At the very same time, she also made it clear that redemption and my healing was the goal. When Aleta’s love expressed itself in anger I was given an important choice. I had the choice to either press in to her love or check out from her love. Thankfully I choose to press in and I’m happy to say that God used her legitimate anger to put me on a path to freedom from the tyranny of worry about money.
This exchange between my amazing wife and myself is a picture of the “so that” God has in mind when He confronts us in anger. The question for us is simply – What will I do with a love that refuses to be silent and refuses to just leave me the way I am? There are two choices. I can press in which will lead to a higher quality of life, or I can check out which will only multiply my troubles and my consequences. When you find yourself in the middle of God’s discipline celebrate the fact He loves you enough to get ticked, and then press in to His loving guidance. Press in!