I remember in the early days of my experience in the Twelve Steps, I was asked by a long-time member what my God was like. In the Twelve Steps, they have this idea that you can have a higher power of your choosing which, of course as a minister, was marginally troubling before I understood what this belief was actually about. Anyways, this long-time member asked me what my God was like and then asked me in the same breath, “Does your God need to be fired?” The substance of the question was this:
Is your God – the One you were told about as a child, reared on in church, reinforced with in Bible college and expounded upon in sermons – kind, loving, compassionate and gracious ALL the time?
For those of us who come from a conservative Christian background, the God we were reared on, at best, likely had a multiple personality disorder or, at worst, was psychopathic. Here’s why. The God I was raised on was both loving and angry, gracious and punishing, kind and severe. Now some of you might say, “When you allow the Bible to determine what your God is like, that’s the God you find and we are required to accept God like that. We don’t get to choose what God is like.”I completely agree with this idea.
We don’t get to choose what God is like, and I think in the name of being Biblical as opposed to Christian, we have created a God that doesn’t exist. When I look at Jesus, and if I take Jesus at His word when He said, “When you see Me, you see God”; I see a God who is kind, loving, compassionate and gracious, all the time – all the way until the religious powers kill God.
If you say, “You are right, let’s fire God!” the question becomes, “What am I left with?” What I can tell you, is what happened to me. I was left with an amazing opportunity to experience the only true God that actually exists. The one that is always loving, kind, compassionate and gracious – especially when I don’t deserve it. I discovered a God who has never been anxious for me or anything, but from a place of perfect peace dwells with me, in me and through me. I have found a God who has never flinched at my frailty or my failings and is determined everyday to waste nothing in my life. I am so thankful I fired my God! And I am truly thankful I found God in that process. Perhaps you’ve experienced something similar? Or not?
I think when become fearless about looking at who we think God is, I don’t believe we are in any risk of losing the actual God. We are only at risk of losing that which doesn’t exist anyways; that being simply a deity based around fearful constructs in our minds, but have nothing to do with the Great I AM – God!
By the way, I think the word “God” sucks. The word “God” is a catch-all for all our best intentioned small-minded crap.