Projection

…God isn’t like us!

June 21st, 2019

We are like God…  
  …God isn’t like us!

 

It is fairly common for us to project how we think, how we feel, and how we would typically react, onto others. We use ourselves as the basis, for how we cast judgements on others. We use ourselves as examples of how someone else is likely to react to a situation. We assume if we like something everyone else will too. After all, who wouldn’t like THIS!

First, it’s a bad idea to project our feelings on anyone else. We can’t assume that others have had the same experience in life we have, and have formed the same patterns of behavior, or attitude. It becomes a terrible idea to use us as a point of reference for understanding God, because it is a common error to assume that the “in God’s image” indicates a communitive property.

As you know, a communitive property is one that is a two-way street. What is true of one is true of another because the value is communitive. While humanity is crafted in the image of God and we hold many things in common with our creator, the flaw in this thinking is that because of that fact we can assume what we feel, think and consider reasonable do not accurately translate back to God.

This likeness is a one-way transaction.  God begets his attributes up on us. We don’t drive the nature of God, nor is our experience an accurate measure of God’s.

So therefore, man is, in many ways, patterned in God’s image, but God isn’t like mankind.

For there is not one truly righteous person on the earth who continually does good and never sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:20 (NET)

None of us are righteous of our own effort. We in fact are made righteous by the blood of Jesus when we surrender our lives to him and accept his gift of grace. As Paul tells us, God has provided this grace and isolated it from works, because it’s not for any man to say because of this deed, I am righteous. In fact, our efforts to gain righteousness are filthy rags in contrast to God.

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NET)

Despite this truth, which almost every believer understands clearly, we still project our persona on Him.

The flaw to this projection is the fact that we are a fallen creation. That is why there is none righteous, not even one.

When God created humanity, it and all of creation, was perfect.

That perfection ended with the inherent curse that was cast on Satan and the earth. Sin entered the creation and everything, including humanity, was corrupted as a result of the fall. That which was perfect, became imperfect, due to the sin that entered.

This affected the earth, all the plants and creatures in it, including humanity. Interestingly enough, God didn’t curse humanity. We might make a reasonable assumption that the reason for this was that God knew the result of sins impact on his creation. Prior to the fall he made it clear that with sin, death would become a standard for humanity.

But he told both Adam and Eve what the result of their sin would mean to them directly.

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.”

But to Adam he said, “Because you obeyed your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ʻYou must not eat from it,ʼ cursed is the ground thanks to you; in painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

Genesis 3:16-17 (NET)

This flawed existence we have degraded to from the point of perfection is a poor standard to hold up to project what God’s thoughts are, what stirs his emotions, what his reaction is to any and all stimuli.

There are definitives that are exhibited in the scripture. God tells us bits and pieces of how he feels about things, his attitude about certain behavior, and what results in his wrath and intolerance.

But for us to try and define how God would feel because of what we feel is an exercise in futility.

“Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NET)

We live in a world of subjective truth. Everyone has their own personal truth by which they construct their behavior. This truth is flexible and can be modified at any juncture, simply with the application of a feeble justification. Most typically that justification is born out of our own bias.

I said it was a terrible idea to project our own persona on God and while what I have outlined illustrates how our projection on God is inaccurate at best, it may not be elevated to the state of ‘terrible’… yet!

Where this becomes fatally dangerous for us is when we as a result of this projection make allowances in God’s Word, for those things which are not congruent with our own feelings, thoughts, and attitudes.

So much so that until we realize God’s view of sin and repentance, we not only project on God our attitudes, but we then use that projected mindset, to reflect on us favorably, we create a false God; an idol to worship in our own image.

THAT is not grace, that is profession of a faith that isn’t professing Jesus Christ as lord of our lives. Going there, hardens our hearts and prevents the influence of the Holy Spirit on our unforgiven sinful nature.

We might talk a good game, we could do all the things that are typical of a ‘believer’, we can even say “You are my Lord!” to the face of our redeemer.

The thing is, Jesus tells us what he thinks of such false facsimiles of God and his nature.

On that day, many will say to me, ʻLord, Lord, didnʼt we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?ʼ Then I will declare to them, ʻI never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!ʼ

Matthew 7:22-23 (NET)

That’s terrible danger in an eternal sense. “Projection” is the last thing we want to do with God. In response to his call to us we should repent, surrender, submit, love and honor, but never project our mindset into the image of God, for in doing so we build an idol of our own crafting.

In the Grace of Jesus!
kip…

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