Busting Up Your God-Boxes
I've been teaching and preaching lately about how we need to dismantle the unhelpful boxes that we try to place our ideas about God into--boxes that we use to try to make our images of God more manageable.
The problem with this is that many of us tend to find ourselves over and against our images of God. We label our boxes of God with words like "demanding," "absent," "angry," or "heartless."
And then some of us decide that those boxes really are God, and so we walk away from them, believing that we can no longer... believe.
Or we cling to them so tightly, making them into something they aren't. We hold on to them as though they are the only ways to see God, and our entire belief system becomes supported by these false images of God.
Which is often the moment that some people who are trying to figure out what God is all about see the labels on our god-boxes, and think to themselves, "There is no way I can believe in a God like that."
But when we are able to dismantle those boxes and cast them aside, we can be set free of them, and we can also be set free to imagine God in bigger more expansive ways.
In her excellent new book Miracles And Other Reasonable Things, author and speaker Sarah Bessey writes:
We have to be committed to unlearning the unhelpful, broken, unredemptive, false or incomplete God if we want to have space to relearn the goodness, the wholeness, the joy of a loving God.Seriously, if you haven't read one of Sarah's books--you need to. And I love what she says here. Those unhelpful images of God that we cling to so desperately sometimes can take up all of the space in our head and heart.
It's time we made room for something more, don't you think?
If you have a bunch of poorly labelled boxes that you have been holding on to and thinking that they contain God---let me tell you something that will liberate you: You can't possibly define God. God blows up all of those unhelpful definitions.
God can't be put in a box.
Hold on to this brave and beautiful truth with all your strength and take a big huge box-crunching swing at those old ways of seeing God. And you will find all the space you need to imagine a bigger God---more than you ever dreamed.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.