Early on in my faith journey, I solely viewed God as a father figure. If I messed up or made a mistake, I would feel super bummed out. And we should feel some shame and seek forgiveness through repentance when we disobey God. But our view of God should not be so limited as to only see God as a disciplinarian.
More recently, I’ve been able to call God a friend as well as my Father. Friends can talk about anything; there are no secrets and no shame. I feel as if, with God, I’m an open book, and that’s a very freeing feeling.
Our view and understanding of God changes as we grow and deepen our relationship with Him. But I know that no matter what my perspective of God is, He sees me as His child — an imperfect but loved child. We know how imperfect we are ourselves, and that knowledge can be discouraging if not depressing. But when we get to know God, we become refreshed by knowing the extent of His grace and love. And because of Christ’s sacrifice for us, to pay for all our sins, we are forever forgiven by God.
I love music, and with phones these days, you can put any song on you want, then pause it and pick right back up where you left off whenever you want. But I really enjoy listening to old-school vinyl record players too. With these, when you put a record on, it just plays. You can’t stop it until you go through the whole album, and if you do stop it, you can never really pick up exactly where you left off.
I think it’s important to view our relationship with God in a similar way. Continuation and consistency is good. If you’re having a conversation with God, finish it. If you’re praying to God and having a moment with Him, don’t allow yourself to be interrupted.
This can be easier said than done, though. For me, it means putting my phone away, like under the bed. There’s a time to connect with people, and there’s a time to set aside moments with God alone. I try to do this every day. It’s important to be able to step away and be with our Father and Friend.
The key is to set your focus on God, not yourself. We can so easily get caught up with having things go our way, seeking after success, comfort, money, fame, etc. But if we are so zoned in on our own feelings and what we’re doing well, we’re losing focus on what could and should be.
John 3:30 says that He must increase and we must decrease. The focus has to shift.
— Daniel Norris, Detroit Tigers pitcher
Daniel Norris is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing articles and opinions. Check out Daniel’s Increase profile here.
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