God is real. As real as the trees in the forest, as your favorite warm-fuzzy, as the coffee you drink in the morning, as your job, as whatever earthly thing is most real to you.
He really is.
And he is as real as you and me.
And he has the same emotions as you and me – albeit in perfect and holy control.
He does. He does have the same emotions.
Inasmuch as he created us in his image, and we have emotions, then God has the same emotions.
I am not quite sure when it came into my mind, but at some point, I understood that God does not enjoy it when we use his name carelessly. I had always been taught that I shouldn’t exclaim, “Oh my God!” or “Jesus Christ!” or “Oh God!” or whatever other ways God’s name is mindlessly used by human beings. But, it wasn’t until I knew that God is real that I really understood why.
Since God is real and has emotions like us, I thought to myself, how would I like it if someone went around uselessly proclaiming my name, without even really wanting my attention? If someone went around saying “Oh Sarah!” or “Sarah Oyerinde!”? I imagine I would find that quite annoying.
In fact, I don’t have to imagine it because I’ve experienced it. When my husband and I first got married (I suppose he just loved me and thought about me so much), I would hear him proclaim my name at random times around the house – while he was cooking or performing other household chores. He did not need me for anything, or want my attention. He was just saying it vainly. At first, I would respond to it, because I thought he was calling out my name for something. But, as I realized he was doing it for nothing (well… kind of… calling out someone’s name because you love them may not be vain so much), I began to stop responding to it. (And actually, because he was doing it out of love, I found it sweet.)
But, the point is that it was initially annoying. And, if someone did that with your name and it wasn’t because they loved you, you would find it annoying, too. Maybe extremely. And since you are a human being, you might fly off in a fit of anger.
In the same way, it’s annoying for God.
God is wanting and desiring and waiting for that moment when we call out his name, so that he can come to our rescue and help us out. He is. (Check out 2 Chronicles 16:9.)
But, when we call out his name and we don’t really mean it – we don’t really want him or need him, but we’re just calling it out as a curse or calling it out in vain for no reason, then that is very disappointing to him.
I imagine God runs over to us and gets in our face and says “Yes? Can I help you?” And then when we don’t respond, or when we say something like “What, God? I didn’t call your name. I don’t need you”, he is left in confusion and perhaps feels a sense of rejection. The only difference in his emotions and ours is that, he can recover quickly from these kinds of hits, perhaps?
Well, we know he is “slow to anger” anyway, and won’t fly off in a fit of rage at us. But, that’s not an excuse, because the Bible doesn’t say he doesn’t get angry, but is just slow to anger, which means eventually, if we don’t heed, a bit of discipline (which is a grace) may be forthcoming.
But, I would advise to not wait for that grace, but to rather take the grace of this here perspective. And if you’re not into my thoughts here, then try the grace of Exodus 20:7 – “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”