“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?
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.