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I have to confess that I did not truly believe that until recently. I said I believed it. I actually thought that I believed it. But some recent events have caused me to step back and re-evaluate my theology and my understanding of God and the Bible.
I’m in the process of examining all of my nitty gritty, deep down, never seen the light of day thoughts concerning God; and I’m ashamed to admit that my previous view of God was not very flattering (to him or me.)
So here’s a challenge, for those of you who intentionally follow Christ; and for those of you who don’t:
Try your best to forget your previously held believes about God. I know it’s actually impossible to forget your history and previous believes, but try. Try to suspend doctrine and dogma, just for this exercise. I know that might be a little scary; it was a little unsettling for me. And then I remembered that it was doctrine that got in the way of the Pharisees being able to see Jesus for who he really was (John 5:39,40)
So, just for now, set aside doctrine, dogma, theology, and everything you’ve ever learned in Sunday school about God. (Don’t worry; your theology will still be there to pick back up when you are done.)
Then read the bible with fresh eyes.
Pretend that God really loves you. He doesn’t just love you, he actually likes you.
As you are, imperfections and all.
Pretend like he really does want what’s best for you, in this life, and in the life to come.
Pretend like he’s not angry at you, not waiting to hit you with a stick when you make a mistake.
Pretend like the gospel (the message of Jesus) is actually good news.
Good news for you, me, thieves, liars, priests, prostitutes, politicians, tele-evangelists, everyone.
Just pretend. Read the bible with fresh eyes. (The book of John was a good place for me to start.)
I think that if you do this honestly, you’ll find that you see God in a new light. You’ll see yourself in a new light. And you’ll see others differently.
It’s life changing to actually believe it.
God is love. (I John 4:8)