Daniel Collins: Tough Pill to Swallow

Posted by in Faith | March 12, 2014

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Editor’s Note: Today, Daniel Collins raises an interesting question. He begins by setting up the scene in contemporary Christianity (and really throughout history) where God has been continually reduced to a lovable friendly softy, and the harsher disciplinarian we find in the Old Testament is ignored. The question and subsequent theory Daniel presents are food for thought. Why are certain character traits of God omitted or ignored and how does it affect us?

When I think of one of the biggest struggles within Christianity, I am immediately brought to the issue of our image of who God is. There is a certain desire among Christians to disregard the Old Testament entirely because we want to believe in a God who is only loving, comforting, soft and safe. Well, the inherent flaw within this line of thinking is that God will always be and has always been the same. This is bad news for those of us who want a God who is safe. He is not and never has been safe. However, (to steal an amazing line from a great book) He is good.

I sometimes find myself desiring this soft and safe God who only loves; but this comes at a great cost. I have omitted the traits of God that can be hard to deal with or even talk about. When I ask for and desire a God who only coddles me and gives me what I want and not what I need, I am missing out on his goodness in discipline. I am missing out on the seasons of sorrow that seem bleak in the moment but lead to unimaginable growth and understanding. I am missing out on my protector and provider. I am as Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup to quench his hunger. When I am in the moment, I forget that there is always a plan for the pain. There is always an end goal that is for good. I forget that God has view of all things in time and space while I only have a point of view. In my seeking a loving God, I am actually seeking a God who is less loving than the living God.

Now, this may seem like a rant about a single random thought, but I believe there is a reason Christians are trying to omit certain aspects of God’s character and it is a tough pill to swallow. I believe that the specific parts of Gods that we are avoiding are the parts of his image he has specifically molded into men.

When I think of marriage, I see a more complete picture of God than in any other place on this side of heaven. Women embody the more gentle-natured and caring side of God’s heart while men are more of protectors of their family and providers for their family by nature. These qualities of God, specifically placed in men and women, are to provide us with a better image of who God really is. I believe that we men have failed at embodying our half. We have missed the mark by either being too overly authoritative, too passive, or too absent.

This is not all men, as I personally could list off many names who do embody these qualities well, but as a whole generation of men, we are failing. This is why I believe IRON and FIRE is doing amazing kingdom work in the hearts of men. We need to succeed as men. It is not only important that the next generation have fathers that love them well, but it is also imperative that we give the world a better picture of how God loves us, without being weak.

Daniel Collins

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