Last week we established the importance of needing to first cultivate a healthy relationship with God in order to be able to love ourselves and love others well. We did an exercise where we asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to us our current view of God and wrote down what he revealed. During this exercise, you may have found that your current view of God is not a positive one. That’s okay and is not uncommon! There are many common factors that can cause us to have a distorted view of God.
One of the most common of these factors is being hurt by other people. When we are hurt by others, especially those in positions of authority such as parents or leaders, we often subconsciously project the characteristics of those who hurt us onto God. If others have hurt us, caused us to feel rejected, betrayed, or abandoned we can begin to view ourselves in that negative light and begin to believe that God views us that same way. We then begin to view Him as critical, distant, absent, or untrustworthy.
Other common distortions can include our family environment and upbringing, father wounds, rejection, church hurt, legalism and disappointment (maybe even disappointment in God). Our experiences often cause us to believe lies about who God is. Whatever the wound, it is important to realize that our thoughts and feelings don’t always line up with the truth and our experiences with others do not accurately reflect the nature of God.
You may have heard the phrase “hurting people hurt people”, and this could not be more true. We are all imperfect humans who hurt each other as a result of our own hurt. Thankfully, God is not human and does not share our human weaknesses. He is in fact perfect. He is the perfect Father. If we do not view Him this way, it is because we have allowed our experiences to cause us to believe lies that distort the truth of who he is.
Therefore, we need to identify the lies that we believe and reconcile them to the truth of God’s character. This week, we are going to do an exercise that will help us do just that. I want you to imagine a perfect father. If you could describe a perfect father, your ideal father, what would he be like?What attributes would he have? Write down the attributes that come to mind. Then take those attributes of a perfect father that you wrote down and compare them your current view of God. Where do you struggle to see Him in this light? Where are the discrepancies? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the wounds that have caused distortions in your view of God and ask God to heal those and help you to see who He truly is- a perfect Father who loves you more than you can fathom. A father who is absolutely trustworthy and never leaves you, never forsakes you, and never fails you.
I encourage you to read Psalms 23 this week and look for the attributes of God that it highlights; then compare them to your list of attributes of a perfect father.