I feel like God is unhappy with me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am always feeling like I am making wrong decisions. I suffer frequent headaches and when I do, I feel like I have done something that has angered or upset God. I am taking prescription meds for the headache, depression, and anxiety, but it doesn’t always work. I believe that God heals, so why won’t He heal me? I feel like the reason He won’t heal me is because He is mad or upset with me for something I did or did not do. I am constantly in fear because I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. I speak with my pastor and other Christians who all say God isn’t mad at me. But if He isn’t mad, why am I continuing to suffer? I want to do His will in my life but I don’t know what it is, and feel that may be the reason for my punishment. In the biblical sence, I am supposed to put others first before myself. But my doctors, therapists, and family all tell me that I need to come first before I can help others. How can I care for my own health as well as other people’s needs as a Christian should? I am actually having anxiety as I write this because I am afraid that God will be mad at me or upset with me if I send it,possibly because I am under the impression that Christians are supposed to be happy all of the time, and not sick or stressed. How can I be a good witness for God if I am anxious, and panicky all of the time? Please help! I need peace!

A: You dear person. You are trying so hard to be good that you are making yourself feel very bad. I’m not a pastor, but I do know this. You are treating god as though he is human – and not a very nice human at that. The god of Christianity is not a vengeful god who makes people miserable because he is mad at them. The father of Jesus is a god who forgives and loves and tries to help people also be forgiving and loving. I sincerely doubt that your physical suffering has anything to do with your spiritual relationship with god. Embrace the comfort that a relationship with a loving god can give you. Turn to your physicians and mental health professionals to help you in the physical world.

You say that your medications aren’t working. The best treatment for what you are describing is a combination of medication and talk therapy. Make sure that your therapist and your prescriber are in regular contact. Your therapist can give your prescriber information he or she needs to adjust your medications. Do spend at least part of your therapy time working on refining your coping skills so you have more tools for taming your anxiety. Please also stay in touch with your pastor and allow yourself the comfort of prayer.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jan 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). I feel like God is unhappy with me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/01/05/i-feel-like-god-is-unhappy-with-me/