It’s the end of another year—a year most of us are ready to leave behind. Despite all the trials and tribulations we’ve faced in 2020, the end of any year tends to prompt reflection. For those of us who are writers, makers, and business owners, part of that process involves analyzing what resonated with people. I began doing this myself a few days ago; I wanted to see if anything I had written was connecting with people.
My purpose in writing is to untangle the lies we believe about God and ourselves. It seems there’s always a new thread no matter how much I think I’ve worked my way through. I’ve only been blogging for the last few months, but even from a small amount of data, I can see what topic people were drawn to the most. It was my post entitled, “Does God Care About My Happiness?” I’m not sure it was the post itself that was compelling, but rather the question. It confirms my suspicion that many people are walking around as I did, with a view of God that is less than kind.
We tend to view God as a mean dad. The being who punishes you when you’ve done wrong and sits on His throne with a perpetual frown. We think He’s almighty and aloof. He doesn’t seem interested in what’s going on down here unless there is some punishment to mete out. We’ve decided He’s a cosmic killjoy, but that assessment couldn’t be further from the truth. In all honesty, He’s a bit of a contradiction.
He’s at once nearer than our next breath yet lives in unapproachable light. He is ageless but came as a baby in a manger. He is immortal but died on a cross. He is also creator and sustainer, which makes it seem like He’s too busy to bother with us humans. But the thing is, He bothered in as big a way as He could have. He sent His Son to pay our price so we could continue to commune with Him. He tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom as His Son was dying on the cross to prove He wants us to be unhindered in coming to Him.
God has gotten a lot of bad press over the years, but He’s God and He’s a million things at once.
God has gotten a lot of bad press over the years, but He’s God and He’s a million things at once. Chief among these is love, but because of all the other brushes He’s painted with, a wave of people have begun “deconstructing” their faith. It’s big terminology that basically means picking apart your belief system. I have to admit, I don’t quite understand this notion. When I was having trouble with God and fed up with only knowing Him as a mean, miserly being, I didn’t deconstruct so much as I dug in.
There’s nothing wrong with having doubts—we all have them. I chose to pray and ask God to show me who He was through the pages of His Word. I wanted His take on His authority and personality—not the one I grew up hearing. To an extent, this is part of deconstruction—I did choose to leave a lot of what I grew up with in the past. I didn’t leave a void though, I filled it with God.
Over time I learned to trust God more and more. I chose to believe what He said about Himself and put that into practice. Weekly church attendance isn’t going to be enough to birth spiritual maturity. We tend to ride out our faith and think we’ll magically mature, but faith is a continual process and a choice. It’s a hard choice, especially if you’ve believed the worst for years. It’s allowing the Word of God to reframe your perspective without any outside influence. It may sound scary because we’re conditioned to think we can’t interpret scripture correctly on our own. But if you ask God to show you who He really is, He will. He wants you to know Him and He isn’t hiding.
As I wind down this year, I’m renewing my commitment to myself. I choose to continue unraveling the lies we believe about God and ourselves, but it always starts with God. I hope by the end of next year I’ll hear stories of people telling me they connected not only with my writing, but with Him.