by Andrew Cromwell
In 1961, J.B. Phillips wrote a book entitled, Your God is Too Small. In it, the author outlines the tendency that we have to limit God. The message of the book is as revolutionary and accurate today as it was fifty years ago.
Chances are, the picture you have of God is too small.
We all have these frameworks or lenses that we see God through. Sometimes the way we view God is based on something we learned from our parents or a Sunday school lesson we had when we were kids. It may be based on one or two verses from the Bible or some commonly repeated phrase (like “God helps those who help themselves”) that we have taken as Scripture.
Some of us see Him as a Divine policeman, carrying around a billyclub waiting for us to make a mistake so He can whack us over the head. Others see Him as the white bearded, wise old man who offers sage advice but doesn’t get His hands too dirty. Still others see Him as a kind of Divine teddy bear waiting to wrap us up in His soft and comforting arms whenever we need it.
Here’s the problem: most of us are wrong about God.
Think about it. You and I are limited, mortal human beings. God is unlimited and immortal. You and I are physical creatures that are imperfect. God is immaterial and perfect. So how good do you think we are at understanding God? Not very.
We make conclusions about God all the time. Something bad happens, we shoot up a prayer, and then when things don’t turn out the way we want, we draw a conclusion about God. Someone does something to us and we blame God for allowing it to happen. We lose our job and guess who’s at fault for not saving it? God.
Or, we see God as easy. So we figure we can do whatever we want to do and that He will always be ok with us. He’ll give us a hug, pat us on the head, brush us off and pick us back up so we can go back out and keep acting stupid.
Whatever your current view of God is, the real question is, how do you get the right one?
The best way to get it straight is to go to a trustworthy source. There are plenty of “sacred texts” out there, but only one that I know of that aligns with the state of our world and the state of the heart of humanity. Whenever I read the Bible, I am confronted with a picture of God and a picture of the world that my heart tells me is true and accurate.
In John, Jesus said, speaking of anyone who wanted to know the truth, “set them apart in the truth, your word is truth.” If anyone wants to get their false image of God corrected, all that must be done is to hold it up to the truth. It works every time.
What are you doing to correct your distorted image of God? Maybe it’s time to get a better picture of the One who is perfect and who always has the best in mind for you.