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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Be Mad At God First

For countless centuries, perhaps even from the beginning, man has often viewed the world with an 'us-versus-them' attitude.  His classical approach to life is that those who are not for him are against him, and that those against him are pure evil and a dire threat.
After all, the 'Other' takes our stuff and makes a mess we have to clean up.  The 'Other' is selfish and greedy and inconsiderate.  Of course, we are never like that.  We are always perfect.  It is the Them that has all the problems.
So, when we feel threatened or imposed upon by circumstance, we turn out ire towards some other.  When things get really bad for us, and we are genuinely afflicted, then our hatred of the Other becomes fully justified and we can go about hating and resenting.  Our insults are true because we say that they are, since we have decided it is so and the Other has no truth at all.
Whole political systems, from Stone Age Tribalism to Modern Age Marxism are built on the premise that the bad guys over there, be they the fellows in the tepee on the other side of the hill or the wealthy Bourgeoisie in the manor house (these days, a McMansion is enough to get the envy of most Americans going), must be stopped because they are bad and we are good.
Race politics is another place where this is the core belief.  Be angry, and remain so, because only your rage will give you the strength to fight your enemy.  Kind of like this:
So, we encourage our rage for 'social change' or 'preserving our traditions' with hate and well-suckled grievances.  The Other becomes, like the video suggests, the 'nail' that we have to be angry enough to hit.
The path of Recovery requires that we drop the pretense: anger is a poison, and it is never justified.  Resentments and condemnation of others is the same judgment and condemnation you will receive.  Hence, the Lord's Prayer.
Most people are weaned on hatred, and it is mother's milk to them, and no matter how often they read their Bibles, they can't get over their own hatreds.
Those who afflict you... who lets them get away with it?  God.
I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I gird you, though you do not know me, that men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe, I am the LORD, who do all these things. (Is 45:5-7)
God sends Israel into the hands of the Egyptians.  And the Babylonians.  They are afflicted by others.  Who should they have been angry at... their afflicters, or the God who ordained their affliction?
Here's a bishop's take on the matter:
'This Came From Me' by St. Seraphim of Vyritsa

Have you ever thought that everything that concerns you, concerns Me, also? You are precious in my eyes and I love you; for this reason, it is a special joy for Me to train you. When temptations and the opponent [the Evil One] come upon you like a river, I want you to know that This was from Me.

I want you to know that your weakness has need of My strength, and your safety lies in allowing Me to protect you. I want you to know that when you are in difficult conditions, among people who do not understand you, and cast you away, This was from Me.

I am your God, the circumstances of your life are in My hands; you did not end up in your position by chance; this is precisely the position I have appointed for you. Weren't you asking Me to teach you humility? And there - I placed you precisely in the "school" where they teach this lesson. Your environment, and those who are around you, are performing My will. Do you have financial difficulties and can just barely survive? Know that This was from Me.

I want you to know that I dispose of your money, so take refuge in Me and depend upon Me. I want you to know that My storehouses are inexhaustible, and I am faithful in My promises. Let it never happen that they tell you in your need, "Do not believe in your Lord and God." Have you ever spent the night in suffering? Are you separated from your relatives, from those you love? I allowed this that you would turn to Me, and in Me find consolation and comfort. Did your friend or someone to whom you opened your heart, deceive you? This was from Me.

I allowed this frustration to touch you so that you would learn that your best friend is the Lord. I want you to bring everything to Me and tell Me everything. Did someone slander you? Leave it to Me; be attached to Me so that you can hide from the "contradiction of the nations." I will make your righteousness shine like light and your life like midday noon. Your plans were destroyed? Your soul yielded and you are exhausted? This was from Me.

You made plans and have your own goals; you brought them to Me to bless them. But I want you to leave it all to Me, to direct and guide the circumstances of your life by My hand, because you are the orphan, not the protagonist. Unexpected failures found you and despair overcame your heart, but know That this was from Me.

With tiredness and anxiety I am testing how strong your faith is in My promises and your boldness in prayer for your relatives. Why is it not you who entrusted their cares to My providential love? You must leave them to the protection of My All Pure Mother. Serious illness found you, which may be healed or may be incurable, and has nailed you to your bed. This was from Me.

Because I want you to know Me more deeply, through physical ailment, do not murmur against this trial I have sent you. And do not try to understand My plans for the salvation of people's souls, but unmurmuringly and humbly bow your head before My goodness. You were dreaming about doing something special for Me and, instead of doing it, you fell into a bed of pain. This was from Me.

Because then you were sunk in your own works and plans and I wouldn't have been able to draw your thoughts to Me. But I want to teach you the most deep thoughts and My lessons, so that you may serve Me. I want to teach you that you are nothing without Me. Some of my best children are those who, cut off from an active life, learn to use the weapon of ceaseless prayer. You were called unexpectedly to undertake a difficult and responsible position, supported by Me. I have given you these difficulties and as the Lord God I will bless all your works, in all your paths. In everything I, your Lord, will be your guide and teacher. Remember always that every difficulty you come across, every offensive word, every slander and criticism, every obstacle to your works, which could cause frustration and disappointment, This is from Me.

Know and remember always, no matter where you are, That whatsoever hurts will be dulled as soon as you learn In all things, to look at Me. Everything has been sent to you by Me, for the perfection of your soul. All these things were from Me. (
Do you want to blame someone for racism, and inequality, and the burdens others unfairly place on you, and the suffering of the poor, and the inequality of the rich, and that you didn't get what you wanted... put the blame on God.
He started it all, and He is the one who lets it happen.
Do not be a coward and blame mere mortals.  God could stop them, but He does not. 
And, since you are afraid of God, it is easier to hate others than taking Him on.  That's being a chicken.
If you are angry at another person, you either don't really believe that God is in charge, or you think He is asleep and not doing His job.  You may need to rouse Him with your indignation.  Yes, God will surely respond if you are angry enough!
Those who can actually muster the courage to be angry at God are well on their way to recovery.  After all, to be angry at Him means you really believe that He is there and that He is all-powerful.  This is a stronger belief than the made who pays lip-service to God but in his heart believe that men are responsible for his suffering.
Men are tools.  Reread the Old Testament.  Pay attention to Deuteronomy 32.  That is a warning for all of us.
Our afflictions are the path to healing.  Do not resent others for doing what is in their nature to do.  God will deal with them.  You yourself must be healed, and God will only do that if you cooperation.
If you must hate, then hate truly and hate God.  He can handle it.  Hate Him and get over it.  Be honest.  Sometimes we cannot avoid being angry over what has happened to us.  Direct it to the One who really did it, and who also knows why it must be so and can change it from bad to good.
Be angry with no man.

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