People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.
Have you ever been mad at God? Most Christians don’t readily admit this as it seems to be something akin to “conduct unbecoming” and sometimes that’s correct…and sometimes it isn’t. Jonah got mad when God showed compassion to the Ninevites (Jonah 4:1) after he reluctantly brought them a message to repent or face the consequences. Instead of being filled with joy when the entire city turned to God, Jonah got mad because he didn’t think they were deserving of God’s grace. Jonah was wrong.
Had Jonah’s heart been right in the first place he would not have run from God, he would not have brought calamity on his fellow travelers, and he would not have had to endure a slimy and terrifying 3-day ride inside of a giant fish. Jonah’s foolishness brought on his own trouble…but God showed him compassion anyway. Fast forward to the present day. Are you mad at God over some tragic circumstance? A cancer prognosis or the sudden death of a friend or loved one? God understands your anger and confusion and stands ready with His love and compassion to comfort you and help you through the valley (Ps. 23:4).
But what if your circumstances are brought on by your own foolishness?
In our sin we tend to look for a scapegoat when life doesn’t go the way we want it to…especially when the reality is that we dug our own grave. Self-awareness is a quality that every Christian needs to have. Like David in his prayer of repentance over Bathsheeba (Ps. 51), we all need to be willing to face the music that accompanies our own sin…but we also need to be willing to learn and then accept and rest in God’s forgiveness.
The next time you are tempted to shake your fist in God’s face, you better make sure that your trouble isn’t self-generated because God will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7). On the other hand, when you are hurting and confused God will not punish you for your angry outburst. He didn’t punish Moses or David or Habakkuk when they cried out in anger and frustration and He won’t do it to you, either. Just be sure you are not trying to blame God for the results of your own foolishness.