How often do you get angry? Well, I imagine a few times a week. Perhaps, if you’re like me, a few more than few. Or maybe even a few more than that. Anyhow, I think people get angry with God and with each other all the time. But how many times are we actually justified in being angry with God and others? With the latter rarely, with the former never (even though it is healthy to express frustration to God like in the Psalms).
There is a funny little situation (although its more silly than funny) in the book of Jonah. In the Fourth and final chapter, God appoints a ginormous plant to grow up really quickly to provide shade for Jonah. But the next morning comes, and so does a worm. And we all know that the early worm gets the tree. So God takes the shade away, and Jonah is left treeless and angry.
God then asks Jonah if he has a right to be angry with Him for taking away the very tree He made grow. This is the silly part. Yes, of course I have a right to be angry. I am angry enough to die! (Jonah 4:9).
That’s pretty ridiculous. But I wonder how often we really do have the right to be angry at people, at God, friends, the church, enemies….More often than not we just get angry, and have problems with folks. But how often do we ask the question God asks Jonah? Do we have the right to be angry? Sometimes we do. Often times we don’t.
I think if someone were writing a story about our lives, like a very close personal biography, I bet we would look pretty silly in our anger. Probably as silly as Jonah. Probably more dumb than silly even.