One of the primary reasons given for why people reject faith in God, is often stated as something like “the cruelty of the world.” In other words, people look at all the terrible things that people do to one another and conclude that, since this world is such a horrible place, there is no way that God could have made it.
There are a couple of things that grab our attention, here…
First, there is the assumption that a perfect God would not (could not!) have created such a messed up world. God couldn’t be real, because, if He was, this world would be a much different (and far better) place.
But where did we get this sense of the perfection of God? How is it that we instinctively attach perfection (and “all things right”) to Him? Then, when we don’t see that perfection, we conclude that a perfect God could not have been involved in such a cruel disaster.
Second, how do we come to this conclusion that the world is “wrong” or “imperfect.” We look at all the predation and violence in the world, and abhor it. Yet, that is exactly the standard of the animal world. The animal world survives by predation and violence (that whole circle of life thing!). Why is it right for the animal world, and not right for the human animal world?
The answers lie within the fact that we just cannot escape the God Imprint within us. Even when we are not readily aware of it. God put it there. Not only to give us the framework for how we should live, but also to help us to live within that framework.
So why do we fail to live by these intrinsic standards that God placed within us?
The Bible tells us… It is because sin, and its effects, have distorted our “sight.” Or more accurately, we lose sight of that God Imprint within us. Other things, other pursuits, other objectives become more “real” – and more important to us.
Simply stated: we learn to forget that God made us in His Own Image, stamping His likeness into our DNA. Because we lose sight of what makes us so special (and so important) our sight shifts to our own pursuits, our own desires, our own causes.
In this state, our decisions and our actions no longer reflect the God Imprint – they are the reflection of our own self-centered animal nature. When we lose sight that we are divinely endowed, we resort back to the one thing that we know best… our own wants, our own pleasures, or whatever we think will make us happy. And we pursue those things with a passion – in spite of how it may impact our own lives… or effect others, around us.
Whenever we lose sight of the God Imprint, we also lose sight of our divine purpose to be God’s representatives on this earth – and people are going to get hurt.
The reason that this world is such a mess (and that we know it is such a mess) is because we were placed in charge, we were given the capacity to live and act just as God does, and we (through sin) forgot WHY we were created in the first place.
The fault for the cruelty of the world, is not God’s – it is our own.
But here is the wonder of God. The whole reason why Jesus came to this earth was to restore every one of us back to God’s purpose for our lives. It wasn’t just to forgive us our sins – it was to bring us back to seeing the God Imprint within us.
But it is even greater still… When we look at the life and ministry of Jesus (in the gospels) we are actually seeing what the God Imprint looks like. Jesus came as the Model of everything God intended for every person born on this earth. That we could actually form and shape this world, after God’s Image… by BEing His Image, everywhere we go.
Prayer focus: God, open my eyes to see the wonder of all you have made me to be.