I used to think God was sitting up in heaven shaking his finger at me. I believed God thought I was a naughty little girl and there was nothing I could do to change that. It started when I was in grade school. I was in line to “receive” my first sacrament of reconciliation. In the Catholic Church this is most commonly called confession. I was talking with my friend about what I needed to confess and to be honest, I didn’t have a clue what I was going to say. I said to my friend, “I must of said a curse word so I’ll say I said a curse word.” Yup, I lied in my first confession because I couldn’t think of anything to confess. Really, it’s okay to laugh, this is funny! It’s pretty clear that I didn’t learn anything in the religion class I was taking. I truly believe that this experience led me to believe I was naughty. The truth is, I was actually a pretty good kid.
I now have a much different view of who God is. God doesn’t see me as a naughty little girl. He sees me as His daughter, forgiven and free. God’s character isn’t just about how He sees us. It is about who He is, His personality. So, let me ask, what is God like to you? Is He a king on a thrown? Unapproachable as you cower before him? Do you see him with a gavel as a judge in a courtroom…are you being judged by him? Are you guilty before the trial is over? Is He the controller of your life? The God who has a lot of rules and He expects you to follow them or you’ll be punished? Or maybe He’s the killjoy God who doesn’t allow for fun. Could He be the God that doesn’t care? He’s up in heaven watching as people suffer the pain of evil and sickness in the world. He could stop it but couldn’t be bothered to do so. It is pretty easy to see God in those roles. The world is a tough place to live and often times we attribute things that aren’t God to be Him. Mostly, because we just don’t know how to know God. The only way to know Him is to seek Him for yourself.
You could take a chance on Google and look up God and see what comes up. Or better, you could check out the Scriptures. What better authority is there on God’s character than God Himself through His word. So, would it surprise you if I said that a primary characteristic of God is that He is kind? The Bible actually says that God is kind. Let’s take a look at Psalm 103:3-10 in The Message Bible:
He forgives your sins – every one.
He heals your diseases – every one.
He redeems you from hell – saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy – a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness – beauty eternal.
He renews your youth – you’re always young in His presence.
God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up His plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
I challenge you to take a look in the Scriptures with an open mind and search out the true nature of our God. I also challenge you to see the good in the difficult circumstances you might be facing. Next time something bad happens, take a hard look at the situation: is it God or is it something else causing the circumstance? Look for the goodness and kindness. There, you will find Him.