Our attitudes about someone are often based on our understandings of that person. Bosses often have to make tough decisions to remain profitable or keep the doors open. When we doubt the character of our Boss, we may think they are cutting positions so they can have more money in their pocket as opposed to having the best interest of the company and its people in mind. But, if a Boss has earned our respect we may more readily accept their decisions are really best for the Company in the long-run. We form our opinions of others by if “they walk the talk.” Does the Boss treat their employees like they expect them to treat the customer, etc.?
How though do we form out opinions and attitudes about God that is invisible? Many opinions about God are based on what others say God is like or what one thinks the Bible teaches about God’s character. The challenge with that is that the Bible was written thousands of years ago so our opinions are our own interpretations of what we think the writer meant. We have different opinions about the same biblical passages because our understandings are not infallible. We don’t have to throw away our Bibles but we must be gracious and open-minded about our understandings of the Bible. I could be right, you may be right, or we both may be wrong.
If there is a God who truly created man and woman, God must have had a reason to create as opposed to not create. If such a God exist most would argue for a loving as opposed to a hateful God. It seems pretty clear God respects freedom because so much evil exists in the world that a loving God surely doesn’t approve of. One may surmise then that an uncontrolling God created us to have a relationship. We are often referred to as God’s children. If the Bible can’t be definitive, which is the case for anything written in the past and the writer is not available for clarification, how can we know what God’s love looks like?
A loving God would not reveal themselves only in a Book that the majority of people who have been born and died never had access to. I would suggest we all can have an innate sense of what a loving God is really like. The large majority of people can agree what are selfish acts. Most agree actions such as murder and stealing are immoral. Unfortunately, terrorists prove consensus is never unanimous, but would all terrorists kill their own son if they didn’t accept certain religious beliefs? I would suggest some would hesitate suggesting a flaw in their morals.
Most readers could come pretty close to agreeing on the Ten Commandments of parental love. Most if not all readers would agree that children must be taught to treat others like they want to be treated. Parents would agree it is wrong to favor one child over another because of certain physical characteristics. But, love isn’t without complications. Some parents may guide their grown child away from a career because of financial stability concerns, despite a child’s passions, but many may steer children toward a career they personally would be more proud of. Doesn’t something inside us tells us to give a grown child emotional support in whatever career they choose? Parents who disagree – just treat your child like you would have wanted to be treated at the same age. I have a hunch we could come to an agreement of what true love is.
What is God really like? Our striving to love others perfectly suggests such love exists. We don’t always know exactly what those actions are but we can know a lot. God’s love and perfect human love are surely one in the same or how else could God convey to us what God is like. If you question what others say about God, I challenge you to question others and God until you get a satisfactory answer. Let’s be gracious in our opinions about God. No one has a right to tell others what to believe about God. The only unreasonable beliefs are beliefs that violate the rights of others. Don’t let anyone’s understanding of God keep you from determining your own attitudes about God.