Tag Archives: christ follower

Reducing God

God. He’s huge. Actually, the Bible says He’s everywhere; Spirit, not simply a gigantic being separate from Jesus, sitting somewhere beyond the universe. We actually live, move and breath in Him. He is all-powerful and knows everything. What I think about God is solidly based on Scripture.

But, what do my actions say?

Often, the way we behave proves that we don’t always view God as all that big. We actually think of Him as quite small at times.

What do I mean?

The last few days, I’ve been thinking about the ways we reduce God. That is, making Him smaller than He is. Making Him equal to us. Or even worse, making Him less than us.

How do we reduce God?

  • We reduce God by thinking He’s angry all the time or gets mad at every little wrong thing we do. That makes Him as small as us – grouchy and over-sensitive, (folded arms included).
  • We reduce God when we think He hasn’t forgiven us after we’ve confessed and sincerely repented. We think He holds onto our sins for loooooooooooooooooooooooong periods of time. At times, that makes Him as small as some of us – touchy martyrs who are prize-winning grudge holders. Other times, it makes Him even smaller; we assume God is still holding onto unforgiveness for things that we ourselves would have forgiven another person for in a heart-beat.
  • We reduce God when we don’t trust Him to make right decisions. Our prayers are more like, “My will be done” rather than, “Thy will be done.” We tell Him over and over what we think He should do. We give Him advice on how a situation should play out. And then, we get angry when it doesn’t turn out the way WE think it should. This makes us wiser than God and He becomes quite small.
  • We reduce God when we freak out about the current political, economic and social conditions of the world. This makes God uninterested at the least, or uncaring at most. He becomes much smaller than the always-involved God of the Bible who cares about even the smallest details of our lives, guaranteeing good to all who love Him.
  • We reduce God when we think He doesn’t love certain people as much as He loves “mature” Christians. Like non-Believers who are living sinful lifestyles. Or carnal Christians. This makes God picky and bias. It diminishes Him, making Him equal to us if we, too, have a hard time loving everybody. At worst, it makes us bigger than God, if we ourselves are able to love people that we think God will have nothing to do with.

I think you get my point. But here’s another question: Why do we reduce God?

Maybe we do it to serve our own interests; we’re comfortable with the predictable and familiar God we’ve created in our own minds. Or, maybe it’s our pride; we want to feel as good as God, if not superior at times. But I think there’s a more basic, fundamental reason why we reduce Him . . .

We don’t really know God.

Our assumptions of Him are primarily based on our earthly experiences, rather than a solid understanding of who He is and an intimate relationship with Him to go with it. We think studying God’s Word is archaic and unnecessary. Church on Sundays is more than enough. Perhaps our pride and fulfilling our own self-interests are instead the reasons for us not getting to know God more.

What a dumb thing, to reduce God. I mean really; who wants to follow a grouchy, over-sensitive, picky, non-caring grudge holder? No wonder we have a hard time serving Him with all of our hearts, minds and souls. We’ve reduced Him to us.

I don’t want a small God. I want to know Him so well that there is no place for Him to be small in my life. I want Him to be as big as my mind will allow Him to be – and then some.

How about you? Have you ever reduced God?

(For further reflection on the truth about God: Jer. 23:24, John 4:24, Acts 17:28, Ex. 34:6, Ps. 86:5, 103:12,14, 1 John 1:9, Ps. 84:11, 147:5, Rom. 11:32-34, Dan. 2:20-22, John 19:10-11, Rom. 8:28, 2 Pet. 3:9, Acts 10:34, John 3:16, Rom. 5:8)

Thankful for WHAT??

The other morning, as I was backing out of my driveway, I noticed my sprinklers were on. They’re not supposed to be on at that time of the day. They’re supposed to be on at night. When I’m asleep and they won’t annoy me.

I was irritated.

Obviously, my immediate reaction was one of frustration. Because the power had gone out a few days before, I would now have to reset the stupid sprinkler system, costing me at least three minutes out of my day. AGAIN.

As I was cursing the power going out and contemplating when I’d be able to squeeze in my three minutes to reset the system, this thought smacked me right upside the head out of nowhere . . .

Be thankful you have power.

Uh, wow. That got me thinking . . .

How many times do I run across things in my day – in my life – that seem SO bad or inconvenience me SO much, and yet they’re things I could be thankful for?

Here’s a nice little list of examples I came up with . . .

  • Road construction. Detours. Don’t ya love it? And yet, aren’t you glad our roads are taken care of? Or, hey, aren’t you glad we even have cars??
  • Gloomy, coastal weather. (My friends will attest this is a sore spot for me.) And yet because of the weather here, I live in one of the most beautiful, sought out places in the world. And I don’t need a snow plow!
  • Waiting at the doctor’s office. I get to see a doctor.

Here are a few irritating things my Facebook friends came up with . . .

  • Difficult personalities
  • Parents once in a while
  • Traffic lights, homework, siblings
  • Dog hair
  • My husband
  • My own mistakes
  • That not everything in life is fair
  • Truth
  • When things don’t go the way I expect or want them to

I wonder what would happen if we actually took the time to think about the flip-side of any of these things, about the good that might be represented behind them – even stuff like dog hair.

What do you tend to meditate most on? The frustrating aspects of a situation or the good that might be associated with it?

If I were to be honest, for me lately I’ve been focusing more on the bad. I had a hard, heavy week last week that was physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. (Thus, the delay in writing this blog.) And when I’m stretched in any of those three areas, I’m much more vulnerable to thinking negatively.

My sweet little sprinkler needing to be reset was a great reminder that not only do I need to regularly “water” my mind with thoughts that are good, noble, pure, excellent, true and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8) – but . . .

I also need to be proactive in reframing how I look at the events in my life – especially the frustrating stuff.

Are you with me on this one? This week, I’m going to practice taking things that are bugging me and find at least one good thing in them. And believe me, I need to start right now! Maybe you’ll join me too; I’d love to hear about your little frustrations and the good you found behind them.

And by the way, I still haven’t reset the stupid sprinkler system. Maybe in the morning.

(Photo: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos)