Apologetic Wednesday: Who Does God Think He Is?
Can it be said that God is prideful? Is He a high and mighty cosmic narcissist that demands we worship Him? Is He on an eternal ego trip in demanding that we seek His face, pray to Him, and devote our lives to Him? Is God the omnipotent equivalent of an adolescent boy flexing his muscles in the mirror and “ooohing” and “ahhhing” at what He sees?
It should first be noted that there are two forms of pride. The negative aspect of pride, which people find off putting and rightly so, is where we exaggerate our importance. Pride in its gross form exists when we look down on people with condescension. This form of pride is a lie about who we are. It is an attempt to cover up the bad, exaggerate the good, and present self in a positive light.
On the converse, there can be a healthy sense of pride. There are many things in my life that I am proud of. I am extremely proud of my wife for being the woman that she is. The day my son was born, I beamed with pride. I find pride in an honest, hard day’s work. 2 Corinthians 10:17 even says, “So the one who boasts must boast in the Lord.” We can brag about what God has done, both in the world and our own personal lives. This form of pride can be healthy, as long as we don’t let it evolve into the aforementioned unhealthy sense of self promotion.
The opposite of pride would be humility. Again, there are two divergent aspects of humility. We tend to admire people that exhibit real humility. We can define true humility as giving an honest assessment of who we are, what we are capable of, and what our shortcomings are. Yet, there is also false humility. We have all experienced situations where we give someone a compliment and they bat it away by saying something like, “Oh that was no big deal.” False humility is a denial of that which we are skilled at, usually in order to elicit more praise.
Everyone has their talents, strengths, shortcomings, and areas that need improvement. The key is being honest and truthful about who one is. Had Steve Jobs downplayed his business sense and marketing abilities this would have been a lie. It would be a deception for Josh Hamilton to state that he is not good at playing baseball. It would be untruthful for Zakk Wylde to admit that he is only an amateur guitarist. True humility is admitting our strengths, and giving God the glory for our abilities and accomplishments.
So this brings us back to our original question: Is God prideful? Is God honest about His abilities and truthful about who He is? Absolutely! He is the greatest conceivable being and is thus worthy of our worship and admiration. For God to say He is less than what He actually is, or that He is unworthy of our worship would be a blatant lie, which is immoral. Instead, God tells us the truth about His character, which is perfect, Holy, all good, omniscient, omnipotent, and all loving. A being like this is worthy of worship, devotion, and service.
God has chosen us to be in a relationship with Him. Genesis 1:26 reminds us that we are even created in His image. He shares with us some of his very own attributes, though in a limited way. He is not selfish, instead He gives of Himself, even though He is under no obligation to do so.
God is good. He is not self-inflated. He is honest about who He is, and He is worthy of our worship.
Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.