“Choose two words to describe yourself.”
I cringe when this common prompt arises. Being quite literal, I immediately think of the exceptions and nuances to an answer. One of my adverbs might be “organized.” However, while my planner and inbox fit the description, my car and desk certainly don’t. Another might be “friendly,” but that depends on the situation because I could also say “introverted.”
Most of us struggle to fully summarize who we are. When we add up all the parts of us, we don’t make sense. We’re complex, constantly growing, changing, adaptable to our contexts and roles, as well as full of contradictions. Understanding who we are is a struggle.
I think one of the reasons we struggle with God’s character is that we impose our own shifting sense of identity on Him. What we see as contradictions in His character are often reflections of our own challenges to reconcile who we are. We struggle to be both truthful and loving, so we struggle to believe God is both.We struggle to be both truthful and loving, so we struggle to believe God is both. Click To Tweet
But our God, alive, complex, and engaged with us, isn’t growing or changing. His character has no weaknesses or flaws. The God we look to is all He is, all at once, perfectly.
God’s character is robust. He fills many roles, all of them sufficiently – and without contradiction. So while we might pick any of the common phrases above to describe God, we can also mix and match any pair in unexpected ways and find Him perfect still.
No matter how you add up the characteristics of God, the sum total is always the same: perfection. There is not one area He needs to grow in, or anything off-balance within Him. And the totality of God’s identity never wavers.
Adam Ramsey puts it this way in Truth On Fire: “We are ever-changing, He is never-changing.”
God isn’t in the process of being made as we are. He’s already complete. He can be all of the “both/ands.”
This wonderful reality can give us hope in our identity struggles and frustrations with ourselves as we grow and change. God promises that “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). He can absolutely guarantee this because He’s already complete and everlasting – and He’s working out all those contradictions in your character even today.
So whatever two words you might pick to describe yourself today, these two are always true of you, and always good news: you are In Him.No matter how you add up the characteristics of God, the sum total is always the same: perfection. Click To Tweet