Our mental views of God shape our attitudes toward God. Misbeliefs about God hinder engaging with God to pursue spirituality. If you think there may be a God, I am convinced you will not regret pursuing more of a connection with your Creator than regretting having a closer relationship with your partner, children, or friends. In this series of Posts the Bible is referenced because that is from where views of God are often formed. What if you discovered that God’s morals are exactly what you would expect from a loving God?
- Jesus, who represented God here on earth, made statements like: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). We are encouraged to “Be holy because I (God) am holy” (I Pet. 1:16). God clearly thinks we know what perfection or holiness is or these statements are meaningless. The fact that we strive to love others perfectly suggests we know what such love is. God’s ways are always moral humanly speaking. God isn’t a hypocrite who is partial but declares favoritism wrong (Jam. 2:1). We know what God is like because God’s love and perfect human love are one in the same.
- Theologians often will play the mystery card when their biblical interpretations suggest God’s morals are not the same as perfect, human morals. They understand some explanation is required when their views of God are incompatible with most people’s idea of a loving God. God cannot claim to be moral if God condemns evil but then commits evil acts. This is nonsense in spiritual or human relationships. If two debatable interpretations in Scriptures exist, we must err on the side that portrays God as the most rational to the human mind.
- Why did God even bother to communicate to us through the Bible if supposedly we can’t understand God? The Bible doesn’t claim that God’s character or ways are a mystery and incomprehensible to the human mind. The most common Old Testament passage used to claim God’s ways can’t be understood only declares our ways aren’t always as moral as God’s ways: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord…. so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
- The Book of Job doesn’t suggest that we have the brain of a clam when it comes to understanding God. God didn’t tell Job to shut up and sit down because God is incomprehensible. Job was questioning God’s justness and why God did not intervene sooner in in his undeserved suffering: “Why must those who know him look in vain for such days” (24:1)? God defended they aren’t unjust because the righteous suffer and the wicked may prosper for a time here on earth. Job eventually acknowledged he was incapable of overseeing a universe where freedom is allowed, not that we can’t understand God.
- Jesus’ teachings were not intentionally mysterious. Jesus would have preferred to not talk in parables but in straightforward ways, but human nature sometimes requires different ways to convince people for their own good. Parables are a different approach to get to the heart of a matter. God’s direct message often is only perplexing to one’s heart not the mind. Parables cause us to continually think of a subject to try to understand and eventually accept the application in one’s life. Parables, rather than directness, can stir those that may be interested and simply drive the uninterested away. Sometimes, we cannot understand Jesus’ parables at one point in our life but when open-minded to spiritual matters, we may more readily accept Jesus’ claims to always have our best interest in mind.
God is the ideal lover and desires to inspire and empower us to be the same kind of lover in our relationships. God’s ways are not mysterious according to the Bible; God’s morals are perfect humanly speaking. God isn’t a hypocrite who tells us to act morally but then acts immorally. God is the perfection of the human parents we have always desired. God’s love is the love we deep down desire to show others consistently. That is what God is really like!