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Making God in Our Image

With the kind You show Yourself kind; With the blameless You show Yourself blameless; With the pure You show Yourself pure, And with the crooked You show Yourself astute.

Psalm 18:25-26

I love this section of the Psalm. It shows us that while we are made in God’s image, we also make God in our image. That is, we typically project upon God attributes of ourselves. This is due to our limited understanding of God because of our inability to comprehend fully who He is. So, you may add to this verse in this way…

With the loving, God shows Himself loving; with the angry, God shows Himself angry; with the strict, God shows Himself as strict. And on and on.

When we believe something to be morally despicable, cruel, or sinful, we will find something in the Scripture that seems to show how God finds it wrong too. If we wish to cast some out of the synagogue for something we don’t like, it won’t take long to find a passage that appears to justify those actions.

Up until the year 2000, Bob Jones University banned interracial dating. They lost their tax-exempt status for those same reasons. This ban was “justified” because of their view of God due to the influence of the culture at the time. Thankfully, the university has a statement recanting this view:

On national television in March 2000, Bob Jones III, who was the university’s president until 2005, stated that BJU was wrong in not admitting African-American students before 1971, which sadly was a common practice of both public and private universities in the years prior to that time. On the same program, he announced the lifting of the University’s policy against interracial dating.

But do you see how easy it is to project our view of the world onto God and, in the process, justify unjustifiable actions that lead us to not love our neighbors as ourselves? Now, it is easy to assume that we have finally reached a time where we interpret the Bible accurately and do not commit these same types of injustices today. This assumption is called the “End of History Illusion” which I wrote about the other day.

While making God in our image is inevitable, the key to combating this tendency within ourselves is by admitting that we do it. In that way, we will be open to learning new things about God in order that we may understand ourselves, others, and Him better as we grow.

So what do we do in the meantime while we try to figure things out? Love God with all our heart and love our neighbors as Christ has loved us. If we do this, we can’t go wrong.

Note: I understand this isn’t the exact meaning of the Psalm. Instead, the original meaning is that God deals with us according to our character. That’s a related topic, but there is a slight difference.

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