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I believe in God, and probably won't ever stop. I'm a Christian Protestant, and have been for years. My problem is that while I believe in God, I believe Jesus died for our sins, and accept Him as my Lord and Savior, I don't really care. I actively dislike church, I dislike churchgoers, and I dislike the Christian lifestyle. I also have jealousy of other people for their health, their wealth, their successes, their physical looks, etc. and blame God for giving me nothing. I understand that I don't live in Haiti, Ethiopia, etc. where I don't have a toilet or clean water, and I'm thankful. But for someone who lives in the United States and deals with problems such as what I noted in the previous sentence, I just blame God for everything and can't get over it. For months, I'll say "**** you, God," or "**** God," or something similar. I think about the people I have met since I became an active Christian again about 4 years ago (after a lifetime of believing but not bothering or anything) and how many issues I have with them. Most of the people I have met at church are people that I dislike for various reasons. In their defense, I'm not a really nice/good person (I'm very blunt and dislike even perceived weakness if I think it's dumb). However, this is where I am now. I just don't want anything to do with church or church people, but at the same time, I understand church and God are good for me. I remember an argument for atheists and how they think it's unfair God is basically sending them to hell for not believing. The answer to it was, "Well, you are alive now and you dislike church, you dislike the ten commandments, you dislike worship and prayer. Heaven is full of that, and everything to glorify God. If you don't want it now, why are you complaining about not experiencing it for the rest of eternity/in the afterlife?" But yet, here I am. I can only think of people I dislike and the way none of us see eye-to-eye on things. I think of the dullness of Christian life, the stupid rules (e.x. a local Christian college forbids men and women from sitting together at lunch, or going out to see a movie), and the general stupidity I see such as faith healing (it doesn't cure cancer), the old-fashioned adults who try bossing the younger churchgoers around because the Bible says to respect your elders, and just nothing really good. I had this problem, sort of, a few years ago. I remember a girl (who is now an ex-Christian, I believe) saying that I was judging God and my relationship with Him based on other people, i.e. imperfect beings who didn't have a thing to do with God's greatness or my relationship with Him. But everything combined from the people I know/have met, the way I think I'm getting the short stick in life, and the lifestyle we're expected to lead just make me dislike it all completely. I believe in God, but I'm not practicing the religion anymore. My relationship with Him is weak if it even exists anymore, and again, I know that's bad. But what can I do to strengthen it? I opened a new Bible app on my phone last night, but I didn't know where to start. I was hoping someone here could point me to some Bible verses/stories/parables/books concerning this that could hopefully help, but after writing all of this out, I'll take pretty much any advice you guys can give. I just wanted friends, a girlfriend, success with my college degree, and generally a good life, but I've never had it. If I give up religion completely (and possibly political views although that is highly unlikely), I would probably get the first two and maybe the last. But I don't want to trade eternity in Heaven for a few good decades on earth and then the rest of forever in Hell.
Anger, on its own, is neither sinful nor virtuous. The concept of anger could be a little vague to Christians because the Bible teaches us to not act on rage, yet shows multiple incidences of angry, Godly characters—even Jesus. This is because anger is a tool, not a smith. The person inflicted with anger could either choose to take rightful action or vengeful action. What we see in Matthew 21:12 is a depiction of Jesus’ righteous anger. Out of their extreme disregard for God, the people in the temple took advantage of their captive audience and turned the temple into a greedy marketplace. Out of righteous anger, Jesus drove them out and overturned the tables and chairs of the various salesmen. To better define the term, “righteous anger” is simply heightened sadness and disappointment at a tragic or ungodly event, such as terrorism, blasphemy, and causes of extreme poverty. As Christians, it is okay to be angry because of injustice. Feeling angry is not “bad.” What you choose to do with the anger will determine its effect. If you’re angry because of jealously, entitlement, or other insecurities, be sure to not turn your anger into a weapon. That’s when it becomes sinful. Take a look at these 10 relevant passages on the topic of anger to help you make the right decisions in the heat of the moment: 1. Ephesians 4:26-27 – “And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” 2. Ephesians 4:31 – “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.” 3. Proverbs 29:11 – “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” 4. James 1:9 – “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” 5. Colossians 3:8 – “But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.” 6. Proverbs 16:32 – “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.” 7. Psalm 37:8 – “Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper--it only leads to harm.” 8. Proverbs 14:29 – “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.” 9. Proverbs 15:1 – “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” 10. Romans 12:19 – “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back," says the LORD.” From these scriptures, it is clear that God does not want us to act sinful out of anger at all, but rather leave the vengeance to Him. Although it is extremely difficult to keep our cool when there are so many injustices going on, refrain from using your anger as a weapon to destroy. Instead, find peace in the comfort of God’s promise to make things right for you. Written by Girl&TheWord
So, at the end of the year now, I like to do some...soul searching. By this, I mean I pray and think about what I've done good or bad this year. So I can work on myself. And my biggest flaw I see, is my anger. This anger causes me to hold strong grudges, and ultimately, shows a very ugly side to me. So here, I am doing an open letter. I'm swallowing my pride and these messages are to people I've been holding a grudge against that I really need to get over. And this isn't just to make me a better person, it is an apology for unjustly holding things against people, sometimes even after apologies. The first letter, is to Cato. This is an odd thing to write. XD Basically, I have been analyzing myself...and one of my biggest flaws, is holding onto anger. While you apologized before for some of the things you said in the evolution debate, I still held on to it very harshly. And it is wrong of me to do. I want to clean the slates. While you have not been perfect, neither have I, and sometimes I rashly speak without thought. And because I do, things I say occasionally come off in a very wrong way, perhaps why you saw something I said as making me an "evil person." While this comment at me hurt very much, considering I've spent my entire life trying to be ANYTHING but evil, perhaps something I said came off that way. It would have been more honest of me to come and talk to you about how I felt as well, instead of having a friend do it for me. Which I apologize if anything injured you deeply, though I hope it did not. I also need to learn that things people say about me, do not always mean I am what they think. However, I struggle with it, so I did spend a couple days crying because a man I rarely even talk to online called me evil. Certainly reminded me how I still have a lot of growing to do. I can say while yes it was harsh, it was also immature of me to go crying about it. I want to clean the slate though...so we can start over, new, and get past whatever has been held. So hello, I'm Jazzy. I'm not perfect, but I'll try to be better. And I admire the fact you are working in Math. I know I struggle enough with certain maths, so I think it is wonderful you are doing it. Thank you. ------------------------------ The next one, is to Bryce While, I do not think you are perfect, and I do think you have things you need to change in the way you treat people, I live by the idea that showing kindness even to the rudest of people will implant kindness in them. I will be honest with you, I have held a grudge toward you. Not over the "you making yourself a victim after I rejected you" or anything anymore, but the fact you said I used you, when I did not. If anything, I felt used by you later, because the only time you ever spoke to me was when you needed something. However, that doesn't make anything I have done 'right'. I have sometimes talked behind your back in anger, which was not right. It didn't make me any better than you. I cussed at you a few days ago in pure frustration, and while I felt like you deserved it, I really should have had better control of my own temper. And while I have been through some horrid things, it shouldn't make your problems lesser. Sometimes I struggle with hearing people with problems over simply...those little things...and then suddenly I realize how I have been through a lot more than normal people, so I need to find in my heart a way to relate better to those with deep struggles, that weren't as deep as mine but for a normal person, those are 'deep' struggles. I am truly sorry you lost everything, it is never easy to have it all and then suddenly fall. But I also understand that life is a choice. While yes you are struggling, you chose to be some of the things you are now, but you can also choose to change. I have not been the person I am now, all time around. I am a way better person now, than I was before. But I know myself I still struggle with holding onto anger. So I understand in life also for wrongdoings, sometimes you never get the apology you wanted, or real closure to what went wrong. But I need to better understand it. I know I am not perfect. When it comes to my emotions, I admit I can act immature sometimes. By that I mean, cry babying over things with no true relevance. I have spoke in arrogance before, but I've eaten a lot of 'crow' as well. TOUGH MEAT! XD I hope you can forgive my flaws, and maybe, I can try harder to look past yours or even help you with them, rather than frustratingly yelling at you. ---------------------------------- This next one is for Paraskeve You may be surprised to be here. Actually, this is one grudge I've been overly conflicted about since it happened. Satan is a funny man isn't he? You do note we've had some arguments here, and I got very cold and harsh with you, but I did because I felt like I was using the same tone with you that you used with others, which was mean and harsh. However, I need to learn also cruelness is never killed with more cruelness. Cruelness is killed by unconditional kindness. Either it will make them so uncomfortable they will stop, or maybe it will plant a seed. I apologize if any words I have used toward you, deeply hurt you. I do need to learn where my 'off button' is sometimes, even if I do feel strongly about something. We both have similar flaws, which is probably why we fight harder. XD My conflict was you saying I was inspiring though...and it was one of those things that made me realize how ugly grudges are, because even after that I still felt angry, and I'm not saying there is anything you could do. It's something I HAVE TO DO. Which is why I'm doing this now. I hope you can look past my anger flaws and we can actually be friends. ------------------------------------- these are the people I had letters for. Now, I admit the main reason I posted this publicly is because it said Cato's inbox isn't available. However, I looked at it as God saying to cure this I need to do more than a quiet little PM saying I'm a brat sometimes. XD So I hope for the readers, that you can forgive me, because I am trying to push the evil out of my heart to show the forgiveness I should be showing. Thank you. And any advice about anger/grudges is fully welcome.