Dear Children

Letters From A Father's Heart

God Is Not A Man

Dear children,

It’s a good thing to think about God, to ask questions, to ponder the attributes of our Creator as we walk down this path we call life.  And I think our heavenly Father invites us to do just that.  In doing this we realize that God is not a man, and then others times it’s a little too easy to forget that.

That God is not man is the easy part.  What man can create heaven and earth, is all knowing and almighty?  These attributes of power and strength give us comfort for good reason.  Still, there is another way that God is not like us that might seem a little odd at first, maybe even wrong, until we think about it a bit.

Man, that is you and I, possess personality traits that are sinful.  We might think of someone who is jealous, who is a “glory-hound”, who is self-centered, or who always has to have things their own way, as having personality flaws.  But what if I asserted that God possesses these same traits and in doing so is holy and righteous in possessing them?  Is it possible for God to possess the same traits for himself that are sinful for mere man to possess?   Is it wrong for God to want attention, to demand all glory, to be self centered, and to always want everything His way?  Well, if God is nothing more than a glorified man, perhaps not; and I’m afraid that’s the very way that many actually do see Him.  But God is no a glorified man.  He is our creator, the maker of heaven and earth, holy and righteous, perfect in every way; and he is worthy of all praise, and all glory and all honor forever.

The first time I heard someone say that God was self-centered it sounded like blasphemy to me.  But as I thought about it, I realized that God set some standards for Man that He did not set for Himself, the center of all creation.  While it is bad for man to be self-centered, it is a good thing for God.  He is God. What other “centered” would we have Him be?  What other “centered” could He be?  Man centered?  As Paul would say, “May it never be!”

Thinking about attributes that would be sin for man and righteousness for God will help you to guard yourself against diminishing God and raising up man in your thinking; which is a common tendency that we mortals seem to have.  It helps us to remember that He is the reference point for all things, not us.  And again, that is a good thing.

I pray that you would spend your lives contemplating the attributes of God.  That you would see His hand in the smallest of things just as much as you see it in the large things.  It’s probably all small to our Creator, after all.  I pray that the awe you have of Him would grow stronger through your years as the “you” diminishes, and the “He” looms ever larger, and ever more powerful, and worthy of our praise.

Your father.

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3 thoughts on “God Is Not A Man

  1. I struggle with the idea of God being self centered.
    I think this starts with the idea of God being primarily singular. But when my thinking starts with the trinity, and the reality that these three are eternally in relationship with each other, the Three can value the Godhead above all else, which is a true estimation of that value. They can at the same time esteem other above themselves and thereby still be “other centered”.
    I think this is the meaning of “God is love”.
    I think this eternal relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit is the most important and powerful truth in all of reality.

  2. I can see your point… I think. When I think of God, at least as I presented Him in this letter, I think of Him as One, which is what I think you meant by seeing Him “singularly”. This letter was an attempt to get my children to think beyond the normal self-centered mindset that plagues all of mankind. I was also attempting to get them to think about God as totally different and otherly than man and to open the door to the fact that he is not subject to man’s judgments of Him, but rather that we are subject to His judgments of us. I don’t think the inner workings of the Trinity ever occurred to me as I wrote this, though I agree with what I think it is that you’re saying. I also used concepts like “jealously”, desiring glory and controlling, all of which I think God rightly does that man should not do. It was purposely meant to challenge their thoughts about God.

    I’m not sure if you disagree with what I’ve written. I’m sure interested in you expounding on it if you do. I’d sure be much obliged.

  3. I know I am a little late in responding to this one.. 🙂 but I was listening to a message last night and it mentioned this exact topic. As you already said there are many who believe God could never be self-pleasing, jealous, “over” zealous, etc., but then on the other hand have no issues with saying/reading that God gets angry when we serve other gods, or when we say his name in vain. After thinking about what you posted, maybe the whole reason it’s a sin for us is just plainly because we are not God. We have no “right” to be jealous of others attention, or be angry at someone for our self-pleasing motives…we are but a vapor in this life.

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