It can stir up the angriest reaction, or the most reverent. It can trigger something deep in your soul. It can stand for something all-powerful or it can stand for a million useless things. The word is “God,” the definition, debatable.
As a teenage girl, there are a million things that I find myself putting in the place of God. Music, sports, popularity, money; they all somehow seem to become the definition of God for me at any given moment. They can be what I worship, what I place above everything else, but they are not God.
Our society chases after wealth and security. We worship a lit up picture box most nights of the week during “primetime.” We follow our favorite sports team or celebrity like they are immortal and always perfect. We worship these things like there is nothing better. Do we realize how much better it gets?
God is not the hottest styles at American Eagle, the legend we find in John Lennon or Bob Dylan or the latest episode of Scrubs. God is not the brand new sound system in your sanctuary, the pretty face you see in the mirror after applying some makeup or the big paycheck you just received from your corporate job. God is not even the Bible, the Koran, or the golden Buddha. He is not what we find ourselves worshiping because we tend to set our sights too low.
He is more than we can ever imagine.
The God I believe in is a God more complex and amazing than any of these things I’ve mentioned thus far. He is a million different things. I couldn’t begin to name them all. But I know that He is a few things that this world is in dire need of. If only we could realize this. If only we could take what He is, and solve the hurts and problems of this world. If only we could agree on His definition.
C.S. Lewis once compared God to a lion. He is “not a tame lion” he said. That is true to an extent. God is anger and wrath and vengeance when His creation is in pain. But that doesn’t make God someone who will bomb innocent civilians just to make a point about the power and greatness of a country. God is revenge, only when He knows nothing else will work. God is not rage, first, because first, He is something so much better.
First, God is love. God is intense, unconditional and never-ending love. He is love when your husband has just physically abused you. But not only is He love for the victim, God is love for the abuser as well. God can love the most unlovable, the most misunderstood of us all. He loves Mother Teresa just as much as He loves Saddam Hussein. This God loves every single one of us the same.
Not only is God love, but also God is grace and peace and mercy. He is hope and compassion and joy. This is the God that the world needs. This is the definition that could change every hurt and misconception and disbelief. A God that, first and foremost, is about love and equality, and only after exhausting every other resource, then becomes revenge and wrath. This is the definition that will change the world.
We all know how controversial this word is. It has started wars since the beginning of time. It has caused heartache and hardship for millions and billions of people. That is where we have gone wrong. For, if we had only known the true definition of God, the heartache could’ve been prevented. The pain and anger can be replaced with peace and mercy, but only when we agree on His definition.