Thursday, February 24, 2011

Distorted Views

A while back, I bought a full-length mirror to hang on the back of my bathroom door. Instead of hanging it right away, it's still propped up against the wall. I'm not sure why, maybe it's the position in which it's leaning, but it distorts my reflection. I'm certainly not complaining. The distorted view is one I'm quite comfortable with: it makes me look taller and slimmer! I like it! Of course, when I step over to my dresser mirror, I see my real reflection. It's not quite as pretty. I don't like it as I just step back to the leaning mirror to make myself feel good for a minute!

There are many who would offer us a distorted view of God. Many of them make us feel good about ourselves: our sin doesn't look so bad when we compare it to that of others. Some present God as a genie-in-the-bottle: if we just believe enough, God will prosper us and give us our best lives now. Some present God as one who sits on the edge of his seat, waiting for us to break the rules so he can zap us. Others present God as one who doesn't really care about sin or obedience: he just expects us to correct social injustices. The list could go on and on and on...

Sometimes I stumble onto one of these views. Depending on which one I've stumbled on, for a time, I might feel better about myself; or I might feel like the biggest failure in the world. It's easy to hang onto things that make you feel good; and it's easy to allow yourself to live in condemnation. But neither are from God.

When we read the Bible, in context, in view of the whole, we know Truth. God is Truth. And when we know Truth, we can discern distorted views. And although they may hold our gaze for a few moments, we should know to step away from the views that would harm us. And the truth is that sometimes God must confront us with the truth about ourselves and about Himself. And it's not always a view we want to experience. It's easy then to step away from the truth, back into a distorted view, because distorted views are sometimes easier to handle. But we must hold fast to the Truth, to the character of God, presented as a whole in His Word.

Where are your eyes directed...on a distorted view, or on the Truth?


  1. oh I pray it is directed towards truth no matter how painful that may be.
    Thanks for the challenge.

  2. I know my distorted view of God as a vengeful God that was just waiting for me to make a wrong move, kept me from embracing and believing his love for me. I'm still wrestling with things that I was raised to believe about God versus what I read about Him in His word.

  3. See, you call my God distorted, but I have the same human authority to know as you do, the same texts available to read, and the same chorus of human voices who are trying to figure out God's true nature. There are so many different interpretations, all stemming from the Bible, that it seems unfair and perhaps unTruthful to claim one vision as the exclusive one.

    It seems clear to me that this reality means that God wanted us to have an open heart and a careful mind when it comes to the divine.

  4. Elisa - thanks.

    Tftd - Challenging to me too!

    Heather - one word: legalism...I know those chains. It's enough to keep us in condemnation. I'm so glad to be learning that God is Grace.

    Christine - I certainly didn't mean to offend; however, I hold fast to my beliefs, as I'm sure you do to yours. I'm not sure where the breakdown occurs in the differences of what we believe, unless it is in believing that Scripture, in context and as a whole, reveals God's character...which I believe. The theme of the entire Bible points to one, and only one, Gospel: reconciliation with God, by His grace, through our faith in more, no less. I cannot deviate from this truth. I believe in what God has revealed of Himself to me through my relationship with Him and His Word. I cannot take Scripture out of context, or ignore Scriptures, to make God fit into a box that makes me comfortable. But, I do so appreciate your make me question and think about what I've written...and that's a good thing!