Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.
Romans 1:22-23 (WEB)
It’s something that has been on my mind recently: being thankful for all of God’s attributes… even the ones that can seem unpleasant.
I had been asking myself (hypothetically of course) that if I had the opportunity to change God’s character in some way, would I? Would I make Him less just and more forgiving (towards me of course)? Would I want to “customize” Him to my specifications? Make Him into my ideal? My image? (I had been thinking of this before I heard the phrase on Michael Card’s program that God is “not necessarily the God that we would have chosen”.)
Or would I be completely and utterly satisfied with God as He is, even if it inconveniences me or causes me pain?
This is similar to some people’s idea of how marriage works. You marry because of things you like about a person, but nobody’s perfect. As far as the other aspects that you don’t like, you have this subconscious desire and intention to change the person after you are married to meet your ideal. That is not what marriage is about. You’re supposed to love and appreciate the person as he or she is.
Of course, people are not perfect. It’s understandable to want to make someone better. If you see a flaw in someone you love, you want to see that flaw removed. But God’s character is perfect – it can’t be improved. Yet, sometimes I wonder if we act like God’s holiness and righteousness are character defects… they’re too strong and rigid… they need mollifying. And so we don’t proclaim all of God’s character attributes but try to make excuses for them before the world. In doing so, we proclaim a false God – an idol.
If God does not match up with my ideal, then there’s something wrong with my ideal.