Is Your God Too Small?

Good souls many will one day be horrified at the things they now believe of god.Decades ago I read a book by Paul Little entitled “Your God Is Too Small”. The main premise of the book is simple enough. We all create an image of God which is way too small and is a distortion of what God is really like. “We are talking about God. What wonder is it that you do not understand? If you do understand, then it is not God.” — St. Augustine. Usually this ‘too small god’ is created in our childhood and may stick with us the rest of our lives. Our image of God often comes out of how we were treated or in some cases mistreated by our parents or others in our growing up years. We add to this ‘too smallness’ ourselves by creating a god in our own image. For example: a bully in the sandbox hurts us and takes away our spot and we react by hating the bully, fighting the bully and kicking the bully out. Now we feel this is our right and we hurt others and kick them out of their sandboxes. We have become the bully. So we project this same image upon God. God is big, strong and pushes people around. And since our god is like this, it adds support to our own pushy behavior. Fr. Thomas Keating identifies three images of God which are quite prevalent in our day and age. ‘The policeman’ who is watching us all the time just waiting for us to make a mistake so he can catch us in the act; ‘the tyrant’ who wants to rule over us with an iron fist for his own benefit and ‘the judge’ who can’t wait to punish us for all our misdeeds. Who would want to have anything to do with that type of god? But is this what the true God is really like? George MacDonald put it this way: “Good souls many will one day be horrified at the things they now believe of God.”
As you enter 2016 what is your image of God? Does your working image of God fit with those I listed above or is there some other dominate image?
How can you discover what God is really like?

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