Like everything else in my life, my perception of God – who God is, what God’s like – was something that developed over time, through experiences, intentional and unplanned teaching and the magic of cultural osmosis.
Early on, I had a concept of the Trinity that was close to the Shack long before the book was written. 3 distinct persons, none of whom bore a resemblance to the other but still managed a cohesive arrangement as “God.” All 3 had their chores, all 3 worked towards the same end but all 3 had their own way of getting things done and fans who lined up to cheer for them.
Over time, experience, Bible study, intentional classroom learning, unplanned life learning and generous doses of suffering that fueled my passion to “know” God better, a clearer and more specific image of God emerged in my heart and my head. The God I knew I knew gave way to the God I am coming to know. This God I am coming to know still exists in the Trinity but I have come to know all 3 by the singular face of Jesus.
And this is where I want to start my Credo Friday posts.
My very best understanding of God is Jesus.
God acts like Jesus, talks like Jesus and relates to Man like Jesus.
God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit is always like Jesus in character, relationship to self and TELOS – sharing the same ultimate aim or goal.
Jesus has become the lens through which I view all the rest of my Credo.
The ultimate test for every other element of my Credo is simple – is this Jesus? Can I see this in Jesus? Is this compatible with Jesus? Did Jesus demonstrate this or talk about this? Does this line up with the character of Jesus?
As a Christian, a Christ-follower, you’d think this would have been obvious for me from the very start of my journey. It was not. You’d think this would be, as a Christian, a Christ-follower, an easy transition to make. It has not been.
What it has done for me though is to completely revolutionize my faith. That’s not hyperbole. My faith has been turned upside down by this simple change in perspective that seems obvious but took me decades to come to. It changed everything from my approach to leadership to the way I read my Bible to my perspective on politics, ethics, worship, relationships…all things have to pass through this lens, this filter, this understanding now.
Jesus is my starting place and my final answer. Jesus is the face of God. And that has changed everything for me.
Which Jesus? That will be a post for another Credo Friday.