News Articles

Shouting at God when angry can be healthy, author says

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–One sign of spiritual health is feeling comfortable enough to shout at God when you’re angry or bitter, a popular author of resources for Christian women said.
“You need to keep talking to him, no matter what happens, no matter how tough the world gets, no matter how furious you are. Keep talking to him,” Beth Moore advised about 500 women from 29 states attending the March 13-15 woman’s leadership conference in Nashville, Tenn.
“The key to a healthy heart is learning to pour it out continually to God,” said Moore, author of “A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place” and “A Heart Like His,” two 10-week Bible studies produced by the Baptist Sunday School Board’s discipleship and family development division.
Moore, a member of First Baptist Church, Houston, told conference participants to forget about speaking to God in pious platitudes when anger is what they feel.
“In order to be respectful to God when we’re very, very upset about something, we come up with all these pious platitudes to say in prayer when we don’t any more mean them than the man in the moon,” Moore said. “If we’re open with God, all we really want to do is cry out, ‘Why?’!
“If we hide our hearts from God and are not honest with him, it will become a cancer in our lives,” she said. “It’s heart-healthy to scream it out sometimes. That’s exactly what Christ did on the cross.” Moore said it is crucial for church leaders to have a healthy spiritual life — or what she calls “a healthy heart.”
“If we don’t have healthy hearts, we are at extreme risk for an onslaught of problems,” she said. “One thing you need to know about the heart is this — that heart will lie like a dog.
“Above all things, the heart is deceitful, and Satan will use it to manipulate us. In order for you to trust your heart, it has to be given over wholly to God.”
Moore listed four steps Christians can take to give their hearts wholly to God.
The first step in spiritual or heart health, she said, is to “learn how to tattle to God.”
“Part of David’s healthy heart came from his ability to tattle to God,” Moore said in referring to Psalm 109, a chapter in which David vengefully asks God to condemn his adversaries.
“If we never get out all that venom, then we will never get back down to the tender places of our heart. When we pour these things out to God, do you know what good that does us? It keeps us from pouring it out to someone else,” Moore said.
“Girl, if you’re going to gossip to someone, gossip to God.”
The second step to acquiring a healthy heart, Moore said, is “to learn to be honest about your innermost struggles.”
Through Scripture, she said, God gives Christians permission to take to take their impure or unkind thoughts to him.
“If we don’t come to God when we are having troubled thoughts, they will ultimately turn into troubled actions. We have to ask him to come in right there, to begin to mend and heal us, not so we can feel like a wretch, but so we can feel free,” Moore said. “Repentance is about freedom.”
The third step in acquiring a healthy spiritual life is knowing that “God’s mercy only flows from his love,” she said.
God sees Christians as his children, and “cannot respond to them without bias. He cannot separate your sin from your relationship with him. Because you belong to him, when you come to him, he can only see you as his child.”
And the fourth element of spiritual health, Moore said, is learning to “wail and dance before God.”
In other words, she said, unless a Christian can “wail to God when their hearts are broken,” they will never be able to “truly dance with him, to find great joy in him, to really have a passion with him.
“If we hold in the tough stuff, when it comes to the glorious stuff, we’ll hold that in, too. We can’t put a clamp on our heart during special experiences and not on others,” Moore said. “We’re either going to clamp that heart down or we’re going to set it free.”

    About the Author

  • Terri Lackey