Have you ever tried to pack a suitcase of winter clothing and keep it to the 50 lb airline regulation? Perhaps you were going on a ski trip. Or maybe on a mission trip to a winter land. Whatever the reason, you needed to get a lot of clothing into a very small box. So you fold and you roll. And then you remember the shoes. So you start over. Folding and rolling and stuffing. But the physics of the box demand that you can only put so much stuff into it. So you sit there and stare at that rectangle laying on your bed thinking what can I live without for a couple of weeks? And you start pulling things out until you can get that zipper closed.
Perhaps we do that with God, too. Is it possible that many of us try to fit God into a box that we create? And then when it all doesn’t fit together to our liking, we start discarding the characteristics of God we just do not care for–
God is Just (Deuteronomy 32:4). We don’t understand this one, so we just remove it. We can’t wrap our brains around how God can be loving and just at the same time, so we just forget the Just part and concentrate on the Loving part. Many of us live with a God box that only has love in it. But the Bible says God is also just.
God hates sin (Psalm 45:6). We really dislike this one, so many of us take this one from our suitcase almost immediately, filling our suitcases instead with God’s forgiveness. No matter what I do, God will forgive me! Yes, that’s true and a very important part of God’s character. But let us not forget that God hates that sin we commit and that He forgives. We are grieving Him when we sin. So many of us have such a lackadaisical attitude about sin. Like it doesn’t matter. When is the last time you spent some time confessing your sin to your Heavenly Father? We hardly even hear that word anymore. Confession.
God is Holy (I Peter 1:15-16). If God is holy, and He wants me to be holy, then that means a complete change in who I am and what I do. Some of the words used to describe holy at dictionary.com are “saintly“, “godly“, “dedicated service to God“, and “spiritually pure“. Now think with me for a moment about what you played on your radio yesterday or what you watched on your television or the last movie you went to see. Do these words come to mind in describing your choice of entertainment? Or how about the last time you had a disagreement with a family member or friend? Do these words describe how you responded to them? This Truth extends into all areas of our lives. It is especially a difficult one to keep in the box. It affects how we treat people. What we talk about. Who we hang around with. What we allow in our homes. Where we go. And what we do when no one is watching. And so many, many Christians have effectively moved this right out of their “God box”. They might still mouth the words, but they do not live them and have effectively removed the thought from their minds, too busy, instead, rationalizing why certain behaviors are just fine (and even talking themselves into the belief that they are promoting God’s Kingdom by their worldliness–another “box” issue we won’t go into here).
Above are just a few ways that come to mind about how we try to ignore truths about God that we are given in scripture. Sometimes we also add things to our “God box” that aren’t true. Whatever our tendency, it is a good idea to examine our definition of who God is. Does it agree with all of scripture? If it doesn’t, we had better start over. Go ahead and examine your “God” box. Does it go along with the Word of God? It is time to remove the falsehoods and replace them with the Truth. Because it is only when we have an accurate view of who God is, that we can truly grow and thrive as a believer.
Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect;For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
Psalms 45:6 Your throne, O God, [is] forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness [is] the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness.
I Peter 1:15-16 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.