Our view of relationships is often formed by the way we experience relationships with other people. The relationships we have with our parents, family members, friends, spouse, teachers, co-workers, etc. all play a role in how we relate to others. Many of us have dealt with absent parents, abuse, lost friendships, or gossip, causing us to experience all types of broken relationships. But the truth is, even good relationships are still between imperfect people.
Often, these experiences affect how we view a relationship with God. Some of us view our relationship with God through the lens of “if I do this, God will answer my prayers or do what I want.” Or we think, “God must be distant because He’s angry with me” because that is the type of response we have experienced in our earthly relationships. We base our expectations of who God is and how He acts on our prior relationship experience.
Despite how we might be inclined to define who God is based on our own experiences and understanding, Scripture gives us a clearer picture of who God really is.
God is unlike anyone we have ever had a relationship with. He doesn’t wait for us to make the first move; he pursues us. Knowing that our sin would separate us from him and require a great sacrifice to redeem us, he willingly gave His own Son to save us (John 3:16). Expecting nothing in return, he extends love and grace to us.
In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:7-10)
Unlike many of our relationships, God is full of love and accepts us as we are. There is no need to work to gain his approval. He simply loves us because he created us. As we begin to allow this way of viewing God to transform us, our faith grows and our relationship with him deepens.
How have your relationships affected your current view of God?
What are key characteristics of a healthy relationship?
What are some attributes of God that challenge your view of God?