Fr. Michael Schleupner continues his series about the image of God with another powerful message. What resonates with you? If you missed the first blog in this series, please click here.
Our Image of God – 2
Why is our image of God so important? In a way, the answer is very simple. We become like the person we respect or adore. One author says, “Most of
us recognize that we become like our parents whom from early on we adore, even with all their faults. We may not realize that we also become like the God we adore.”
With our parents, isn’t it true that we often learn and repeat words and expressions that they say? Isn’t it true that we develop attitudes and even ways of behaving like theirs, at least in our younger years?
The same thing is true with God and maybe even more so. The way we understand God, what we think God is like, has a great influence on who we become. After all, Genesis tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God. So, if we have a certain image of God and if we are to be like God, then that image will be very crucial. We will allow it to influence how we relate to God, how we feel about ourselves, and how we treat others. For example:
• If we see God as distant and far off, we will probably not feel close to God and will not feel warmth or comfort in our relationship with God. Maybe this will also carry over into a discomfort with closeness in other relationships.
• If we see God primarily as the divine accountant keeping a ledger of our good and bad deeds, we might feel very guarded and defensive in relation to God. In fact, we may simply be afraid of God, and fear may dominate our faith.
• If we see God as vindictive and punishing us for doing bad things, we may be inclined to become vindictive and punishing of others. Once again, we become like the God we adore.
I will continue with more on this next week. I believe that that our image of God is crucial. It can have profound effects. An incorrect or distorted image of God can have harmful effects upon us.
~ Father Michael Schleupner
Quotation above from Good Goats-Healing Our Image of God by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Matthew Linn.
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