Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In His Image

Yesterday, I argued that God doesn't have to love you. It's the nature of love, after all, that it must be chosen. One of the arguments we have to look at in that context is that man, created in God's image, has no obligation to love and so God, the perfected image, must also have no obligation to love.

It was an unnecessary argument when I made it (the nature of love covers the entire point I was trying to make), but now that I've made the mess, let's clean it up a bit. Ok?

God has within Him every characteristic of you. Or the answer to it. It's difficult to think this way because we want to think God is wholly above us (and holy above us). He is; we'll get there. But we start to see some of our unsettled nature in God very early in Genesis when, as I cited yesterday, He regrets ever making man at all and then regrets destroying him. God has the capacity for regret. What else does He have the capacity for?

Everything that you and I do. But before we get the thought in our pretty little head that if we were just a little bit better, if we made just a few different choices, if we really put our minds to it, we could be just like God, let's look at what we've just agreed on: God has within Him every characteristic of you.

You do not, however, have every characteristic of Him.

That doesn't sound like Genesis, where God says we are created in His image. If we are created in His image, and He has all the characteristics we do, then shouldn't we naturally have all of His? Obviously not.

Here's how we know: when God created man, there were at least two key things that God had that man did not: wisdom (knowledge of good and evil) and life. We know that man did not have these things because God was overly protective of the fruit that contained them. That's what got us into this whole fallen mess in the first place.

You and I, we were created with the capacity for wisdom and life but we were not simply given it. There's reason for that. For example, if you have forever but also know everything, how on earth are you going to pass the time? What are you going to do with yourself? Or your God, for that matter?

The gaping emptiness of the capacity for, but not the possession of, wisdom means you spend your time trying to figure things out. Asking questions. Seeking answers. Uncovering truth. Coming to God to talk about the issues, to discuss things.

And without eternity promised, you inevitably find yourself with questions about time, too. God is a great place to search for answers.

You see, God created you enough like Him that you'd know He was the place to turn to with your questions, but He also created a system in which you'd have to keep turning to Him because you simply didn't know it all. You couldn't. You can't.

We're tempted to think that since we are created in God's image, we're never more than a few good decisions away from being gods ourselves. That it's just a matter of discipline and discernment. But that's not the case. There are some things of God that He has not put in you, but has put in the world around you so that you have to discover them, have to keep searching, have to keep seeking. That verse in Matthew doesn't just sound good; it's truth. "" God's created the world so that you have to.

And all of these things you want to know, all of these things you want to do, all of these things you want to can't unless God gives them to you. are for God to give. You have to keep going after them, keep coming to the place where God can start to unfold them before your eyes. He has to reach out His hand in order to fill your empty ones. He's created it that way.

Which is, I guess, what happens when God has the wisdom to know how that will all work out and an eternity to watch it unfold.

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