The Best Friend You Will Ever Have:
Do you think of God as your friend and companion? Before I truly became a Christian, I never did.
In the past, I always thought of God as some impersonal force that was distant and far away. I also came to know Him as a deity so above me that I was nothing but dirt to Him. My understanding of God had been skewed and misplaced.
The truth is that God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). He has more personality, feeling, and character than any of us.
Does God Like Pizza?
My friend Bobby once told me to try speaking to God like he is a true friend, and I said I didn’t understand how. He asked me, “Kristen, what is a question you asked me when we first met?” I replied, “Uhm…What’s your favorite kind of pizza?”
At first, I thought that was ridiculous. Why would I ever ask God what kind of pizza he likes? God doesn’t care about pizza. God has no time for pizza. But then I realized, who the heck am I to say that God doesn’t care about pizza? Maybe he does.
Of course, He doesn’t need food to exist like we do, but who’s to say He doesn’t like it? God orchestrated the very events that brought everything into being, including pizza. God assembled every complexity of our anatomy, including the taste buds that allow us to enjoy every flavor and texture of the things we eat (Psalm 139:13).
That conversation with Bobby taught me something pretty important. I learned that day to try not to assume anything about God’s personality and His love for us.
The Character of God:
We can discover through a faith-driven understanding of the Trinity that God is a relational being; he has preferences, and he has more of a personality than you and I. Our reason for being is not because He needs us, but because He loves us. He wants us to love Him and to bring Him glory.
When we discover the character and wonder of God we begin to fall in love with Him. When we truly love God other things begin to naturally occur. We see a shift in the relationship we have with ourselves as well as the relationship we have with others.
Seeing Yourself the Way God Sees You:
God’s love is ceaseless and boundless. It is the purest form of love. The Bible is filled with testimony of God’s love (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5, Psalm 86:15, Psalm 136:26, 1 John 4:7-8, etc). If we love and trust God and accept that we can be loved in such a way, we can begin to see ourselves through God’s eyes instead of our own.
Once we become willing recipients of God’s love, we can shed the unhealthy perception we have of ourselves.
All too often we come to view ourselves based on several unhealthy factors:
- What our peers and our society think of us.
- Our careers
- Our material possessions
- Our paychecks
Finally, one of the worst traps we are susceptible to falling into is defining ourselves only upon our past sin and poor decisions.
An understanding of God and a healthy understanding of ourselves naturally fit together. Yes, we are sinners, but we are NOT just some disgusting, immoral worms. We are created in God’s image. To Him, we are precious, forgiven, and we remain His deeply loved creation.
He loved us so much that Christ died for us (John 3:16). For us to overly fixate on our sin instead of His sacrifice that cleansed us of that sin seems a bit insulting. In Christ, we can know that we are genuinely forgiven and truly loved by God.
Being a Reflection of God’s Love:
“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27
Once the vertical relationship between God and creature is strengthened we can begin to see an improvement on the horizontal level. Through a strong and positive relationship with Christ we also effectively love others in a more Christ-like way.
- God reveals to us His character and how deep His love is for us.
- We form a relationship with God and come to love him in return.
- We develop a healthy and humble form of love for ourselves based on God’s grace.
- We generate a more unbridled, less self-seeking love for others.
When our joy, our sense of accomplishment, and our positive outlook depends on God, we become less reliant on people and impermanent circumstances to temporarily and imperfectly meet our deep needs.
We begin to rely more on His Spirit that indwells us. Within this Spirit is the capacity to love as Christ does; He loves in a way that is unconditional.
Christ’s love helps us to learn to love in a way that is boundless and massive enough to lay down one’s own life for someone. It also teaches us to love in a way that is adoring and personal enough to care about the type of pizza someone prefers.