Is God a Good Father?
However, though all of us should agree with this in principle, many of us do not live in accordance with it. Strangely, there exists within us the inherent tendency to view God in accord with our earthly fathers. My father is amazing—and so is my mother—but scores of people were raised under parents that were overly exacting, controlling, demeaning, antagonistic, absent, and/or abusive. Consequently, when we think about God, we seem destined to imprint the broken aspects of our parents (and ourselves) onto our understanding of God. One example is our tendency to think of God as being exacting and primed to execute severe judgment upon humanity. However, this is not the case at all.
Think about Peter’s sermon in the book of Acts. Peter announces that his audience denied Jesus and executed Him (Acts 3:15). However, Peter also invites his audience to repent and find forgiveness and refreshment in the presence of God (Acts 3:19-20). Lastly, Peter states that God raised Jesus up from the dead to turn people from their sins (Acts 3:26). Taken as a whole, we should see that this was the Father’s will to restrain His necessary wrath, accept the sacrificial and substitutionary death of Jesus (proved by the resurrection), and offer forgiveness through Christ.
How strange it is for us to then think of God whetting His sword and being poised to destroy us! The truth (as Peter stated) is far from this viewpoint. The Scripture reveals to us that God is an immensely compassionate Father who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He is the redeemer and the Shepherd of our souls. He knows how to woo us to Him, and He lavishes us with treasures beyond comprehension. Sure, He will judge all sin—His perfection and righteousness demands it—but, in His righteousness, He has opened a door to show us immeasurable kindness and mercy.
Let’s take this concept and move towards self-examination:
When you think of the Christian “lifestyle”, what motivates you? Why do you do what you do?
When you think about God, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Why?
When you think about your sin, what is it that bothers you about it? Why do you feel bad when you sin?
The manner in which you answer these questions will reveal your view of God. Often, I obey because I view God as looking to destroy me. I find that I tend to think about the wrath of God more than the love of God. When I sin, I am aggravated by the thought of judgment more than I am motivated to embrace the mercy of Christ. In truth, my thoughts must be refocused on a daily basis through the word of God because I am prone to thinking the worst about God!
Christianity is about knowing the Lord and His immense love—not about you making God like you! Move towards Christ in true belief that He loves you.
I love you and I hope this helps!