I’ve had experience with the “or else” fear mentality of anger. Coming from abuse, it was difficult to feel anger and love coexisting simultaneously. Years later, as an adult, it’s still been a challenge to untangle the two.
And, in my eating disorder recovery, I’ve frequently encountered individuals who have also been plagued with the struggle of anger versus love. Most of the time, in talking with young girls and women, if there’s ever been a disagreement, they often view it as me “hating” them, all of a sudden. Not true.
Even if/when I’m angry about something, it’s not hatred. But, because of the importance subscribed to approval, unless there is an overjoyed, enthusiastic “yes response,” rejection, hatred and all manner of negative conclusions are viewed to be the only result.
We have gotten the anger thing quite twisted. Scripture tells us anger will come. How we respond to it is the greater issue:
“Be ye angry, and sin not…”
Easier said than practiced, I know. But I think a key to it is recognizing anger does not equal hatred/loss of love. We can be angry and love fiercely at the same time.
Someone once said the opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference. Good point.
After all, how many love relationships gone sour have had individuals who are unaffected by them? There’s usually some revenge fantasies, some desire to hurt the other party. We, as our base natures, want to hurt the one who hurt us. Not exactly lovely and noble, but human? Oh yeah! There’s tons of humanity oozing there!
If we’ve come from a background of abuse and perfectionism, it’s especially difficult to remain neutral. We are affected all over the place! We become sensitive to any perceived slight or rejection, all because we determine love must be constantly approving of us, be perfect and never hurt, especially if we’ve been abused. There is a premium on the “love as action” element. And, it’s further complicated if we cannot separate OUR “who” from our “do.” We want approval for every action, forsaking the reality that love approves of us as human beings, but not necessarily of every human action.
Elohim oves us unconditionally. There’s nothing we can do to get Him to “un-love” us.
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
“I have chosen you and have not cast you away.”
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’”
Yep, there’s a lot of love going on. There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us less- or more. He loves, beyond our finite understanding of the word and the experience.
But does that mean that He is absolutely thrilled with everything we do? Of course not. In some instances, The Most High may even be peeved with us. But He never hates us. He just isn’t always happy with our choices.
Some of us, however, may have encountered abusive experiences in which love was conditional, carrying perfect expectations and wrathful violence if a standard was not achieved and maintained. The “or else” sense of dread can paralyze and confuse us; we never know where we stand.
And, if that’s how it is with human relationships, how much more powerful is this dynamic with a perfect ultimately powerful Creator?
But there’s no “or else” to His love for us, regardless of how He feels about our choices. He loves- constantly…
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
And, because of that “first love,” He gave us our Savior, even while we were imperfect, sinning, careless and, perhaps even, unloving?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Let’s face it. If The Most High had to wait until we got our perfectly loving act together, He’d STILL be waiting for it to happen! Again, I repeat this scripture…
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
He loved us while being pleased, frustrated, hurt by, concerned for, aware of, merciful and gracious with us. And yes, during that whole love fest process, Elohim has been angry. An angry Elohim is scary. We’re taught about “the fear of the Lord” in scripture (Psalms 19:9; Psalms 34:11; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 10:27; Proverbs 14:26; Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 19:23). But that has to do with respecting Him, not being afraid of Him.
Nevertheless, we need to remember His attitude to His anger…
“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
We’d benefit tremendously to adopt this perspective in our own lives, in relating to our Father and others. Scripture tells us to “let it go,” in fact…
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
If our relationships don’t reflect that, they need to be examined and corrected; they may be abusive and toxic. If our view of The Most High or even ourselves runs counter to Ephesians 4:26, it’s self-destructive; it’s not His chosen best for us.
Isn’t it time to free ourselves from the stifling conditions we place upon love? He loves, anger or no anger. He never takes that love away.
Whatever your experience has been with love and anger, please rest in His love being more powerful, more eternal than any temporary and/or inaccurate situation you’ve encountered.
The Most High loves you.
Here. Now. Forever.
Copyright © 2017 by Sheryle Cruse