In the last week I’ve spoken with two Christians who believe God is angry with them. Worse. To hear them tell it, God is perpetually angry with them because they do not live up to (what they perceive is) God’s standard.
Yet, God the Holy Spirit tells us “God is love” (1 John 4:8). And God also gives us the definition of love. You can read it here, but let me pull out a few nuggets:
Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is not jealous
Love is not arrogant
Love is not quick-tempered
Love does not brood over an injury
Love never fails
To insist God is always angry with us is to say God is always looking for something to fault us for.
Is that what Love does?
To insist God is never happy with us is to argue what He says about us is not true: “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Does Love lie?
One of my favorite memory verses is from St. John’s gospel. You will find this promise embedded in the Lord’s High Priestly Prayer (John 17:23): “. . . so that the world may know that You sent Me, and [You] loved them, even as You have loved Me.”
Don’t miss that last clause: The Father loves you as much as He loves Jesus.
The Holy Spirit reminds us again and again, through texts such as the above, as well as in this Psalm, that God really, really does love us: Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust (Psalm 103).
God is not perpetually mad at His children. But I sure think we hurt His feelings when we live as if He is.