A few weeks ago, I started to contemplate the question, who is God. I wrote that that question presumes the existence of a person called God. I believe the answer to the question of who God is influences, consciously or unconsciously, everything else especially my relationship with God, people and things.
For me, as I wrote earlier, God is first and foremost creator. He is creator of us all and of all things. For example, if I understand that the next person is as much God’s creature created in God’s image and likeness as I am, I am more likely to treat them with respect, if nothing, as a token of honour to God or even for their own sake. They are worth loving because they are God’s creatures. C.S. Lewis, one of my favourite authors said,
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.” Wow.
A business transaction therefore is more than just a transaction. It is an interaction with an immortal. Products and services are therefore not sold or delivered to mere consumers but to immortals, God’s creation.
If creation is God’s creation, then God’s instruction to the first man makes sense – tend it, care for it and protect it. I have a responsibility to care for the environment because God created it out of love for it’s inhabitants. I am only a steward, who is time bound here, and it is my privilege to care for God’s creation while I am here. It is as an expression of love for the creator who lovingly created it and love for the creator’s creatures who inhabit it and will continue to do so when I am no longer here. Especially humans who God created in his own “image and likeness”, even if they have strayed far from their original estate.
In addition to being creator, God is in my mind, Benefactor. It is one thing to create, but another thing entirely, to confer benefits on the creation. I see God as the creator who has chosen to bless his creation. The book of Genesis said God blessed creation and he blessed the human race by pronouncing blessings on our first parents.
I believe personally, that the primary blessing God blessed the human race with is relationship with himself. As alluded to earlier, it is quite possible to create something and not have a relationship with the object of one’s creation. But according to the Bible, which I believe is true, God chose to have a relationship with us. He said, “let us make man in our image, after our likeness” which implies beings who are not just animal but spirit beings with the capacity to apprehend God and have a vital connection with him, their creator and benefactor.
The primary blessing is relationship with God, who is the source of all goodness, which would result in heaven on earth or in heaven. I think the primary curse is estrangement from God, the source of all goodness, which could result in hell on earth or in hell.
Either end result is a choice (according to the Bible), which the ability to choose is itself a blessing. I am very grateful to God that I can choose blessing, shalom, goodness, heaven and that the reverse are not predetermined, but choices I have to make. The power of choice is a blessing bestowed on us by the maker.
In addition, life itself is a blessing from God since “it is he who has made us and not we ourselves”. I can wake up in the morning ecstatic because I have just been given a brand new day that did not cost me a lot. My life is not mine but God’s “for in him we live, move and have our being”. Just as the existence of any creation is a privilege bestowed by the creator.
I consider the perfect functioning of my body with all its complexities and the innumerable parts that function simultaneously for example and I see a blessing, a gift from God, that I came to discover but neither created nor sustain in the true sense.
I contemplate nature and all its systems and processes, which even with centuries of decadence and despite horrific disasters such as Haiti’s, still function with amazing regularity with benefits for everyone and everything on the planet.
For example, we came to discover oxygen, water and sunlight which we all need to survive. I consider them gifts from God and no less a miracle than any other miracle. They can be easily taken for granted but they are worth being heartily grateful to God, the maker for.
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