July 17, 2018

God’s Multi-Faceted Character

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 17, 2018

By Shana Schutte

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

When I was in elementary school my teacher read to my class the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Perhaps you remember the tale too. It’s about a group of blind guys who have never experienced an elephant before so they define what the creature is like by touching it.

One touches the leg and says the pachyderm is like a pillar. Another touches the tail and says the elephant is like a rope. Still another touches the trunk and says the animal is like a tree branch.

Of course, none of them are entirely right, but all of them are right in their own way. However, by defining the elephant by only one characteristic, each man doesn’t define the elephant at all.

This reminds me of how it can be when we define God’s character. If we look at only one aspect of who He is, we’ll miss the whole of who He is—and that can be problematic.

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. . .” (Psalm 34:8).

For example, perhaps something difficult in your life occurs which causes you to see God as powerful—which He indeed is—but you don’t also see Him as loving and patient. So, every time you open the Bible, scriptures about his power, wrath, or discipline leap off the page bringing fear and anxiety to your heart.

The problem is that when you look at only one aspect of God’s character—such as His power—and wholly define Him by it, you are like the men who defined the elephant by just his tail or his trunk.

Whenever we define who God is, we need to do so within the context of all He is. Therefore, when you think about God being powerful, also pair that power with love, goodness, and justice, lest you be just like those blind men and get a very inaccurate picture of God that causes you to be sad, angry, frustrated, or feel you are living a defeated Christian life.

How are you defining God’s character? Do you have a clear picture of who he is based on the entirety of God’s Word, or have you been defining Him mainly by just one of His traits?

“The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9).

Prayer

Lord, help me to see you clearly. And help me to see all of your characteristics within the light of the cross and your amazing love. Amen.

Application

Do you struggle with seeing God as He truly is? Has an experience, your upbringing or a particular teaching twisted the truth of God’s character to you? Talk with the Lord today about what you learned. Amen.  

Related Reading

1 John 1:5; 2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16; Psalm 50:6

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Whenever we define who God is, we need to do so within the context of all He is. #WisdomHunters #Godscharacter

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