In each of our minds, well those who deem themselves religious or specifically Christian have a perception of who God is. This perception is formed over time as a reflection of their minds, perhaps nurtured from adolescence, life experiences and likely from the teaching of others. This perception and the process is no small thing.
Consider a piece of clay, who or what molds it determines it’s outcome. If that malleable clay is your perception of God, then the question that must be asked - how well is that perception formed? If our perception of God is poor, our actions will be equally. If our actions are poor, we are likely to make minimal impact and possibly do harm. And so it goes.
An inexperienced potter is bound to make endless mistakes molding the clay, coming back to it, reforming it and re-evaluating it’s truths. An experienced potter however is sure, his/her hands work smoothly coming to a clay that is more or less already formed, with a shape and beauty that is a marvel. His/her perception of God is equally then a marvel and it reflects in how he/she engages with the world - through conversation, acts and thought.
I wholly understand the analogy may have imperfections but there are two valuable lessons here.
Lesson 1: Be-careful of the god you engineer in your head.
While we operate in life as if God IS and that we naturally understand who HE IS; in actuality that perception was formed, morphed and constructed over time by different processes and sources. That is, we are daily putting together the pieces of who God REALLY IS and we are either forming our own god or coming to an understanding of the REAL God. Don’t be mislead, our actions and behaviors are often unknown to us. They are refraction’s of neural thinking fed by a host of variables, sub-text and pretext. We are complex beings often acting out first and then spending time or years reflecting on why. And while we may have the best intent; how we are forming that perception of God could be entirely selfish, destructive and/or dangerous.
Be-careful of the god you engineer in your head.
Lesson 2: There is a highly reliable source for formulating an understanding of God.
So with a myriad of sources, processes and experiences that feed into our understanding of who God is, how can we mold the clay in a manner that we can trust, that we can use to steer our lives with and make daily decisions? And the simplicity of that answer is to take the sources, the processes and the experiences and put them to the test. The litmus test for all validity as to who God is, is found in the words of scripture. Jesus identifies Himself as the Word, in fact He promised to also preserve His words. This is our measure - the Bible.
You might say, but there are many bibles and many interpretations? Are there really? Yes there are many bibles, and yes there are hundreds if not thousands of opinions on what scripture means, but what have we done to approve and test their validity. Not all paths are equal, just like not all religions actually lead to God. The onus and responsibility of the reality of the god that is, is down to YOU.
There is a highly reliable source for formulating an understanding of God and it’s the Bible.