Others have probably said this in more intelligent and eloquent ways, but here’s my stab at it. I just finished watching the movie Blue Like Jazz. I highly recommend it. I loved the book by Donald Miller and I’m not sure why it took me so long to see the movie. But I did, and near the end, the main character Don says something about misrepresenting God. And I realized then that this was the phrase I’ve been looking for to express my feeling for quite some time now.
You see, I’ve gone to seminary and I’ve spent all of my life in churches and leading Bible studies and preaching and teaching and reading. And yet I still see how skewed my view of God is and how badly I show Him to the world. And while I won’t confess the shortcomings of others, I suspect I’m not alone. Because here’s the thing: God loves people. All people. Whether they want to be loved or not. The Bible is a love story. A love story about a God trying to love His people.
The book of Hosea is a weird book. There is this prophet, a man who speaks for God, and God tells him to go marry a prostitute. That’s weird. Like kick you out of the church weird. And I wonder about stories like this in the Bible. How did Hosea know it was God telling him to do that? What did he say to his friends and family? But Hosea did it and loved Gomer the prostitute. But she didn’t want to be loved. She wanted to go prostitute herself. And get herself sold into slavery. And so Hosea had to go rescue her; buy her back; bring her back. He loved her. I don’t know how. I don’t think I could have done it. But he did it, and you know, I think he did it because he loved God and he knew that God loved him. And God loves me. And you.
I don’t love people like I should. Not like God would, not like Jesus did. And so I misrepresent God.