Opinion

What is God like? It’s a fair question | Crossroads

By Riverine Herald

HOW do we know what God is like?

This is a question that almost everyone asks, whatever religion or irreligion you follow.

I’ve even had atheist friends who don’t believe in God at all, ask me, out of, curiosity: “If God is invisible, how do you even know what he’s like”?

It’s a fair enough question. If you can’t see God, how can you know him?

Many people look to the world of nature to find out what God is like. This makes perfect sense.

Just like the distinctive lines of a Lamborghini or the vibrant colours of a Van Gogh painting reveal to us something about the designer, we should expect to find something of God’s nature showing up in the world around us.

And I believe we do.

Whether it’s the fact that the universe is not random but operates according to well-defined rules of physics, or that these well-defined rules don’t leave us with a drab existence but that we find awe and beauty in every part of the universe, these are just some of the clues that the natural world reveals to us about the one who brought it all into existence.

But these clues aren’t enough for us to get the full picture of what God is really like. Perhaps we would get a clearer picture by looking at people.

After all, we’re the ones who ask the big questions about life and try to make sense of our existence, and we’re the ones who like to play ‘god’ by creating and controlling our own little universes.

The Christian Bible claims that God created human beings in his image. We were made to reflect the nature of God in the world.

But the problem is that we’re not perfect.

Each of us is flawed in some way, and when we look at the world as a whole, it only serves to highlight our flaws rather than smooth them over.

We each bear the image of God, but the images are damaged. If we try to base our view of what God is like by what people are like, our view of God will be warped and distorted, like looking at ourselves in a cracked mirror.

If we are to find out what God is like, we need someone who actually knows God to show us what he is like.

After meeting Jesus, the apostle John wrote about him: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself, has made him known”.

Not only does Jesus know God, but John came to believe that Jesus truly was God revealing Himself in human form.

And John wasn’t the only one, as these words from a one-time enemy of Jesus show: “The Son is the image of the invisible God.”

The wonder at the heart of the Christian faith is that not only can we know exactly what God is like through Jesus, but we can actually know Him too.

No guessing, no hunches.

Wouldn’t you like to know what God is like too?

Donovan Jasper,
New Life Baptist Church