Bitter at God

I mentioned two things in Sunday's sermon that I want to develop a bit further: 1) Many are people ultimately bitter against God, and 2) Bitterness is not usually related to the size of the offense but to the proximity of the person who committed it. Often, we become bitter toward those closest to us over the pettiest little things because we believe that they owe us something. In other words, we get most upset over things when we feel like we did not get what we were entitled to. When someone close to us lets us down, our first thought often turns to all the things we've done for that person and how we don't deserve to be treated the way they treated us. This mindset reveals that we're selfishly keeping score, which is much more likely to happen with those who are close than with those who are strangers--unless the stranger holds a position that we believe obligates them to treat us in a certain way.

I think this is the reason why so many people are bitter toward God. Most people--even many non-Christians--believe that God owes them whatever they desire. Our default mindset is to expect automatic blessings from God, because we believe that we are entitled to them. Of course, this "god" is the idol of our own imagination and selfish desires, but many people project their own desires onto "god" and then become angry when things don't go as they had hoped.

The only way to deal with bitterness against God is to destroy the idol that we have set up and to humble ourselves before the one true God who owes us nothing yet graciously promises us that He is working all things together for our good. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6).

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