Genesis 1:26 says "Then God said, let Us make man in Our own image, in Our likeness."
When I was a little girl I won a painting (actually a photo of the painting) of Jesus for learning a set amount of Bible verses in Sunday School.
I hung the idealized illustration above my bed and gazed at it often. In this picture, Jesus is handsome, with kind brown eyes and a beard that's neither too Van Dyke, nor too Charles Manson.
That picture and my sporadic Sunday School lessons - mostly about Jesus and the little children and Zaccheus climbing the sycamore tree - formed my view of Jesus. Jesus loved little children and short men in trees.
The kindness of Jesus and the compassion of Jesus was enough to draw me to Him in faith a few years later. Kindness and compassion were the qualities I deemed necessary to forgive me of my sins and allow me to enter heaven when I die.
Forty years later, through study, through fellowship, through worship and prayer, through experiences in which God has revealed His character, I find that there are no human words to describe the indescribable. I worship Him, hoping to gain further glimpses into His nature. No box, no cubby-hole, no sanctuary, no pastor, or poet or theologian, no character trait, as conceived in our mortal minds, captures His essence.
But we try, nevertheless.
"My God is a loving God; He'd never (insert what we perceive as an unloving action). . . "
"Well, the God that I worship is (insert descriptive, defining word(s)).
"I could never believe that my God would say. . . (blah, blah, blah).
Note the focus on the "I" and the "my."
Slavery is God ordained.
Woman was created inferior.
Only organ music is acceptable for worship.
Organ music is old-fashioned.
With these beliefs have I made God according to my image in order to have no barrier to what I desire for myself?
So dangerous to try to define God. When we do so, it rains down on our human relationships.
Do I deceive myself, imagining that God is pleased because :
I wear a dress to church,
I don't wear a dress to church,
I march at anti-war rallies,
I march at rallies clamoring for more troops,
I sing only hymns in church,
I sing fresh, guitar-whaling, drum-pounding contemporary songs?
Do I surround myself with only those who are like me and who agree with my theology? Dangerous.
It's likely I'm making God according to my image.
Am I, today, seeking to know God's mind and heart?
Am I seeking to know God as He is, not merely the comfortable God I've always known, or simply as I wish Him to be?
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me to set aside any cherished ideas about you that do not come from You. Help me to seek You and love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. So be it.