Mad? What Did You Expect?

Mad at the world? Mad at God? Things not working?


Check your assumptions.


There are lots of things to be mad about, and sometimes the reasons are pretty clear: somebody hurt you, you made a huge mistake, something you really wanted doesn’t happen: the cause and effect are easy to see.


But sometimes we get upset and don’t really know why. Sometimes the world just seems to stop working. You are hurt and confused and don’t really know why. When that happens, it might be that you have some bad assumptions. You might have some things you have been assuming but never quite examined. And now, life is presenting you with something that just doesn’t make sense, like raising a family, something at work or working on your car.


For some of the religious people in Jesus’ day, one problem was sorting out “what does it mean to be doing God’s work?” And, “What does it take to receive God’s blessing?” For a very long time, they had been boiling down the answer to these question into a very tight system: “you do these 200 laws and then God does this for you. If God is not blessing you, then you must be breaking the rules. If you are breaking the rules, then don’t expect God to bless you.” This system works fine, as long as it never bumps into somebody like Jesus, someone God was clearly working through but outside the usual "rules."


When that kind of challenge happens to your unexamined assumptions, the response is very often anger. So, if you find your self mad, lost and confused, it might be a good time to ask: what were you expecting? Are these expectations and assumptions reasonable?

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