An exploration in the views and perspectives that religious people have of God.
What is on my mind today is the nature of God. Something interesting that I have noticed over the past year or so is that I often see Christians speaking and talking about Christ- His power, His life, His sacrifice, and His mercy. That makes sense, considering the title they all choose to carry. But it suddenly hit me that I hear more people speak about Christ than they talk about God. Some Christians believe in the Trinity(God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit being both one being and three beings) while others do not; for those who are the former, they may brush it aside by saying that God and Christ are the same and so it does not matter which one they speak of as they are technically addressing all, but that doesn’t quite click for me. For though you may say they are one, from my understanding they each have separate roles: The Father, The Son, and The Spirit and too often, the Son is spoken of above all else. As for those who, like me, do not believe in the Trinity, I am often mystified by how much God is not mentioned in our religion discussions. We may say God, pray to Him, or reference Him, but we rarely talk about Him or try to understand Him. I believe this exists because of one simple thing: the difference we create between us and Him.
We humans are flawed, imperfect, and inconsistent while God is perfect, eternal, and unchanging. He is all-powerful and all-knowing and we often feel lesser than Him- feel like we are specks of dirt compared to His eternal glory. How can we ever truly understand or know a being so different from ourselves? God is so omnipotent and omniscient that many give up, believing that they will never truly know or understand Him so what is the point of even trying? Christ is different to us, though: He is perfect, but in His condescension and Mortal Ministry, he lived like us. He understands us and loves us and helps heal us and lift us up. To many of us, Christ feels more relatable and closer than God ever has and so we lean on Him most of all. As for the Holy Spirit, He is so different from us as well and filled with so many unknowns that we rarely speak about Him at all unfortunately. Christ is the one that gains the focus(that He truly and undoubtedly deserves from us of course) while the other two fall to the background.
The Duality of God also plays an important role in this separation. Many read Revelation 14:7 which says, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water” and see God as an exact judge; a Being of law and order who looks on us in scorn and possibly even anger. They fear God and almost cower before Him. Others read John 3:16 which says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” and see God as a Being filled with love and mercy that we should honor and work to be more like. Some read both and just feel confused. Which is true, they may ask- For while they may believe the words of the scriptures they wonder which of these two sides wins out within God most of all and in regards to them individually?
We fear the answer to this question and so we seek not to answer it. We bow to God and instead focus on Christ in the hopes that we will find a better chance at mercy and understanding with Him who is seemingly more like us than God is. Yet, as John 5:19 says, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Christ is the perfect example of God; everything that He is, the Father is also. So if we can see Christ as the merciful and loving Savior who healed the sick and gave His life for us, yet who is also the same man who stormed into the Temple and cast out those who were desecrating the House of God so swiftly, then why can we not do the same for God?
To me, God is truly the perfect Father; He is loving and kind, yet stern when He needs to be. Just because we are asked to fear Him and to honor him as our judge does not mean that he is cruel in that judgment. They are not synonymous with one another: fear, judgment, and cruelty. When a child is punished for doing something wrong, a good father is not one who harshly hands out punishment or pain, neither is a good father one who is lenient and too forgiving. As Brother Brad Wilcox says in his talk ‘Worthiness is Not Flawlessness’, “God loves us as we are, but He also loves us too much to leave us this way.” This is what’s at the crux of God’s mission for us.
One can be stern without being harsh, one can be loving without being too soft, and one can be understanding without approving it all. And who else can perfect this approach other than God and Christ? To me, this is God at His core. A loving, understanding, yet stern Father whose only wish is for us to grow and become like Christ. A Being who watches over us everyday and knows us better than we even know ourselves, who wants the best for us, who will have to be stern and exacting towards us when we falter- but it all comes from a place of love and that makes all the difference. For, despite our imperfections and mistakes, He will never, ever give up on us and will always be willing to help guide us however He can, whether it is through Christ, Angels, the Holy Spirit, or those around us…