Our view of God vastly changes the way we see the world. Just the fact that we believe in God changes how we view our circumstances, how we react to things, and how we interact with others. But even within that general view is a much narrower view that has been shaped by your experiences, your family, and your culture.
So today I wanted to really sit down and ask you,
“How do YOU view God?”
To help you a little bit, why don’t you take a brief moment to think about and answer these 2 questions:
1) What is your relationship with God like (Ex: intimate, distant, casual)?
2) What do you tend to ask God for when you pray (Ex: spiritual growth such as faith, material things, etc.)?
These questions are just to get you thinking about your own relationship and view of God.
Here a few common ways we tend to see God.
1) The Judge
My step-dad had a very stern personality, he rarely hugged me or my sister. In fact, the only time I ever remember him hugging me was the day before he left our family to be with another woman. Obviously, that left a huge impression on my life and when I started my early walk with God many years later I could see its visible imprint.
To me, God was something or someone who was much like my step-dad. He was distant, emotionally cold, and was someone who betrayed my trust. I had a really hard time having an intimate relationship with God because well, my step-dad wasn’t intimate with me.
Let me tell you plainly, its impossible to have a true relationship with God without intimacy, without that sense of a deep personal love and affection that you see in close relationships. It really wasn’t until I began to understand more about Jesus that I began to see God as a loving and personable Father who loved and cared for me.
2) Mr. Permissive
This is the type of view that thinks of God as a best friend, not so much a father figure. In this view, its likely you think that sin really isn’t that big of a deal because everyone’s doing it and as far as punishment goes, God won’t do it because He’s far too busier with “worse” sinners.
I would probably say that I’ve had this view for a long time as well. After my step-dad left my family and I, I decided to move in with my dad. I love my dad to death but he wanted to spoil us left and right. As a result, my sister and I got everything and I had much tougher time later on in life learning to set boundaries and limits for myself.
I also didn’t really take God too seriously (at least when it came too punishment) because I never had many consequences or rules growing up.
3) Space Man
The reason I called this view space man was because in this view, God is like an outsider. There is no relationship with God, there is a mutual understanding that God created everything but He is way too busy or not interested enough in little humans to care about and want a relationship with us.
My earliest views of God were much like this, I thought God was simply too big and too great to care about me.
4) The Genie Outside Of a Bottle
You can probably guess what this view is right? Lord Almighty, I just want to pray for all of those in need and also bless me with the lottery or that new car over there? Thank you, in Jesus name, amen.
Now, I’m not advocating that praying for certain things like these aren’t bad because we are supposed to ask through faith. What I am trying to say though is that you really need to evaluate your heart and attitude about what you pray for.
If you are not at all interested in a deep and committed relationship with God, if your priorities are coming before God’s priorities, and your consistently doing this, then it might be time to re-evaluate your view of God.
I hope this article has helped you or at least got you thinking about your views of God and how your past has shaped that view.
So how has your experiences, family, and culture affected your view of God?