Is It Right For Me to Be Angry?

angry“Then the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?'” Jonah 4:4

I’ve been thinking about this a lot today. Sometimes life can be tough. I think we’d all agree with that. But other times, from our perspective, it just plain stinks. Maybe we’ve had some unfortunate circumstances. Maybe we, like Jonah in the context of Jonah 3-4, just didn’t get what we wanted. But the question often remains, is it right for us to be angry??

Maybe our initial response is to respond like Jonah: “It IS right for me to be angry, even to death!” (4:10). We might feel like Jonah and claim we’d fight even to our death for the justification of our anger. We may even start to blame God like Jonah did (4:1-2)!

Consider this though. What if in our times of deepest frustration and purest anger, God is trying to teach us something?? What if God is hoping that we will learn something about HIM??

If Jonah had only opened his eyes, he would’ve seen that what made him most angry, bitter, and frustrated were some of the purest, sweetest, and most beautiful qualities of God (4:2). If he had only realized that the problem was him, not God, maybe the book of Jonah would’ve ended differently.

Well, we may know how Jonah’s story ended, but our story isn’t over. We still have time in our moments of frustration and even bitterness towards God, to open our eyes and learn something. We have time to swallow our pride, humble ourselves, and stop blaming Him. Maybe, just maybe, as soon as we do so, we will recognize that the qualities of God on which we once placed our blame are actually our source of life, light and hope.

— David Watson