Why Looking Like God Isn't Always Good

Why Looking Like God Isn’t Always Good

“You are just like your father”

“You are just like your mother”

Two phrases few people want to hear.

But like it or not, in many ways we all grow up and look a little like our parents.

Those who raised us and with whom we share the same DNA.

It’s a bit like God isn’t it?

Except we all want to “grow up” to look like God.

The good news…

Thankfully just as we are doomed to look a little like our parents, we all start looking like God the more we follow Him.

That was always the way God intended it.

That we would look like Him.

The not so good news…

The problem is far too many of us have no idea what God looks like.

The truth is we don’t even need to look outside of Christianity to find very different views of who God is.

Even inside Christianity we have hugely differing ideas on what God looks like.

Unfortunately we find that our theology has created a god that is pretty far removed from the One whom Jesus called Father.

And this is the issue we find in the church.

That while we are all going to end up looking like our God – that is not always a good thing!

  • This is awesome when you believe God is love.
  • But less awesome when you think God is also violent.
  • It’s great when God is a merciful God.
  • But less great when He demands you suffer for your wrongdoing.
  • It’s wonderful when you think God is forgiving.
  • Not so wonderful when you think He’s petty and can’t get over your sins.
  • Fantastic when God promises to never leave nor forsake us.
  • Less fantastic when God can’t look on sin and heads for the hills every time we mess up.

The situation we find ourselves in…

So when we find ourselves with this schizophrenic God… What do we do?

We become schizophrenic followers.

  • We speak of acceptance and yet reject anything different.

  • We speak of turning the other cheek but look to violence to solve our conflicts.

  • We speak of mercy and yet demand judgement to fall on people for their sins.

  • We speak of forgiveness and yet obsess over sins.

  • We speak of love and yet are quick to voice our support for punishment.

  • We speak of grace and yet focus on works.

I mean should we be surprised Christians turn out to be such psychopaths when the god they worship is such an psychopath himself?

Meanwhile:

Getting to the root of the issue…

We all want to be more like God in our day-to-day conduct…

The question is what does God look like?

Since the dawn of time we have asked that question and the conclusions we have drawn have never been clear. In fact we have been all over the place and rarely close to the mark!

The good news is there is no reason to ask the question anymore.

God has forever answered the question of what He looks like by showing up Himself in person.

His response as Jesus was – “God looks like Me”.

Will we believe it?

Yes – Even if you have a Bible verse that seems to support a God who looks very different!

We must interpret the Bible through the perfect image of God – Jesus Christ.

We can’t change who God is to fit our interpretation of the Bible. (Something we are all far too good at!)

Let’s worship a God that looks like Jesus and perhaps we might start looking a lot more like the true God as well.

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18 Comments

  1. For once Phil, I have absolutely nothing to say but Amen! Amen!

    Let’s continue to preach Christ, so people can see the true God.

  2. What a blessing this article is to me. Jesus is the standard for our fellowship with the Almighty Father. Get in with Jesus & you get in with God. Blessings :-)

  3. This was an outstanding article!

    I think this is a problem or, limitation of forming an idea and attaching ourselves to that idea. For example, we can say “God is love” which elicits that idea of what God looks like but then, what image does someone have about what love is? So, when we say what God looks like we use other qualifying words of description, which themselves can have as many misconceptions as we have about “God.”

    Even saying the image of God must line up with Jesus, we can then ask, so what is your image of Jesus?

    To me, it seems that attachment to the ideas we currently have creates division. Now, I am not meaning to be negative towards ideas at all. I think that ideas are wonderful tools to connect and build relationships with one another. But I think ideas are just that – tools. When they become something we cling to they cloud our vision of truth. When we cling to them we are less willing to actually listen to what a friend or someone else is saying, as their words are being filtered through our own idea-filter.

    • Absolutely Jack – we are always going to perform eisegesis on one level or another.

      So we read “God is love” and we read our version of love into the text.

      I think for these things we can be thankful that the scripture often helps us interpret itself.

      For example “God is love” – well we have 1 Cor 13 to help us see what love is like:

      4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      But there are plenty of times where we are left wondering :)

      Very insightful thoughts Jack – thanks so much for sharing!

      • Indeed! And to me, the “we are left wondering…” is what really builds deeper relationships between the Body. When someone says something, if we are in a place of wonder about what they are saying, we are likely to ask them questions that take the conversation to deeper levels and hopefully breeds revelation for both parties in dialogue and discussion instead of making our own judgments and conclusions about what someone has said.

        “eisegesis” you just made my day by giving me a new word to lookup the meaning and etymology of :)

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