The next three possible outcomes of the business-like relationship with God are either guilt, anger or humility. Many of us do not have the wealth or luck or societal standing to maintain an illusion of success. Or some of us are just plain honest. We reject the illusions we might hide behind to accept the cold reality that despite our sincere efforts at pleasing God, the specific outcomes we had expected did not materialize. And here we tend to have one of the three responses—or maybe all three at once as we are confused and struggle within ourselves, not knowing what to do or how to respond. On the one hand we feel broken, on the other hand we feel betrayed. We don’t want to blame God, so we blame ourselves or, like Job, we cannot deny that we did indeed try with all of our might—or at least most of our might—to do the right thing, to pray and fast and behave as we should. This experience is like a crucible, a pressure cooker that renders us to the core of our being, stripping away all of the layers of falsehood and imaginations to lay bare what is really there. It is the experience of Job.
Some of us struggle with guilt. When life does not turn out the way we expect, we often experience an overwhelming burden of guilt. Sometimes we can think of specific failures or areas of our life where we could have / should have / might have done better. But guilt doesn't need any specific cause. Just the fact that life isn't working out the way we expected causes us to assume, not only that it is our fault, but more importantly, that if we had worked harder, paid closer attention or prayed more fervently, things would have turned out better. In a sense, guilt is a species of pride. It comes from having a business-like relationship with God that assumes that we could have (if we had tried harder, etc.) fulfilled our end of the bargain with God. The fact that things are not turning out as we expected becomes evidence for us that we obviously failed God in some significant way. In my experience, guilt can only be healed by humility and leaving behind a business-like relationship with God.