Monday, October 29, 2007

How to Avoid God the Cop


I was at a meeting last night and a man gave his testimony. He started off saying he always felt God was a cop looking at him from above. I really like this analogy. God to most people is someone who is ready to condemn, arrest, punish...someone few people enjoy. For every person who says cops are here for our safety, there is the person who just flat out hates the police too. That is also true of God but probably more people view God as a cop than as a friend.

I began to think about this for me. There are times when I feel other Christians and God talking down to me for things I have or haven't done. I.e. I didn't read my Bible, I didn't go to church, I haven't prayed. Ironically when we get these "speeding tickets" they only piss us off more and rarely does our attitude change. I've gotten a ticket for rolling a stop sign...but I don't drive any different today, and most people won't live their spiritual lives different when they feel condemned by God and others.

Here are some ways that will allow us to view God less as a cop and more as a friend.

1. Read Brennan Manning. Probably Ragamuffin Gospel or Abba's Child. No one does a better job of portraying a God full of grace than Brennan.

2. Listen to Delirious' "What A Friend I've Found." Let it sink in.


3. Read the story of David's adult life in 1st and 2nd Samuel. David was not short on mistakes in his lifetime, but yet he always had what was portrayed as a strong relationship with God. I think this is because God looks at the heart. Saul was the tall, good looking leader that never had favor with God because of his heart. God isn't out to condemn your mistakes, he's out to forgive them. He wants to see your heart as wanting forgiveness and recognizing your fault.

4. Spend time with God. Its cliche I know...but I think of it like this: If you have a friend you don't spend a lot of time with, odds are the friendship won't be as a strong. Of course, the more time you spend together the more the friendship will grow. The biggest reason people view God as a cop is because they've never let go enough to allow God to come near and see Him for who He really is.

1 comment:

mirandita said...

I know in my life, I think I used the "God is a cop" visual as an excuse not to be vulnerable to Him - to convice myself that since I'd screwed up so much, I'd really see his wrath.

See, if I embraced the "Forgiving, Merciful Father" visual of God, then I had to admit that it was truly and simply me alone that didn't allow Him to truly lead my life. I think a lot of people know intellectually that he will not forsake them or condemn them, and instead love them, they can't swallow that because it doesn't make sense. Our justice system bases it's punishment on criminals based on the severity of the crime, but God wipes out our sins and forgets them, no matter how big. And why? Because God is Love period.