The new you… escaping false views of God; part 4
“The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:13)
We have been talking about people’s false perceptions of God – and how those perceptions have a profound effect upon a relationship with God.
Yesterday, we talked about the Santa Claus god view – how some people only see God as the means to give them whatever they want.
The Teddy Bear god. In this view, God is seen almost exclusively as a god of comfort. Whenever life brings hardship or confusion or fear, a source of comfort and peace is needed – and this is the type of god who supplies. This god is soft, cuddly, and easy-going – demands very little, but is present when life gets even the slightest bit difficult. This manner of god is really not going to provide all the solutions – just a means to cope with hardships that come.
Because this type of god demands so little, those with this view tend to live very lax lives, uninterested in any thing that requires anything of them (obedience, diligence, commitments, perseverance, participation with others, etc…). They tend to totally ignore all the “hard sayings” of Jesus, because their god would never make such demands of them. They seek, not so much to “serve” God, but to have a god that “serves” them in their moments of need – usually in times of crisis or difficult circumstances.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort…” (2 Cor. 1:3) – but, once again, this comfort is not for selfish gain (I’m detecting a pattern here!). Scripture goes on to tell us that God: “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those, in any trouble, with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
Again, we are not a cup – but a conduit.
This brings up another essential thought. The reason we go through hardships and struggles (as Christians) is so that we will have: 1) a connection with other people who are hurting; and 2) a capacity to help them by what we have received from God.
To empathize, and truly help, the hurting… we must be touched by hurt, ourselves.
Our times of hardship are seldom the expression of God’s anger (unless we’ve been really rebellious!) – it is His opportunity to comfort us, and provide us with comfort that comes directly from His heart to ours.
God does have a softer side. He has compassion for the hurting. He cares about all the details of our lives. The new you is truly thankful for His tender, comforting Nature – and relies upon His comfort in times of need. All the while, mindful that we receive from God, so that we will have the abundant capacity to give!
Prayer focus: God help me to see You as you really are – and help me to comfort the hurting with the comfort I have received from Your tender care for me.