We saw in chapter 25 the many contrasts and opposites in nature, which help us understand God’s character.
Consider another contrast in what God has created: Men and women, boys and girls, male and female. Men are generally associated with “masculine” characteristics, while women are generally associated with “feminine” characteristics. Without both men and women being created, we would likely have little understanding about those differences, and the relative strengths of each. Consider the huge impact our sexuality has on our life. I think God must have had a good reason for making us this way. I think it says something about God’s character.
Now, discussing the differences between men and women is somewhat like walking across a field with landmines buried in it. No matter how gently you try to walk, there is the possibility of a landmine exploding and maiming you. So, it’s usually better not to go that direction. So, for now anyway, let’s just talk in generalities.
What do you consider to be some of the differences between men and women? What are the best characteristics and strengths of each gender? Could it be, in some ways, that God has the best characteristics of each gender, without the weaknesses and failings of each gender? I like to think so. I think that is partly why God made male and female, so we could better understand his own character, through understanding our many differences.
Let’s take this a little further. Consider the great variation there is between virtually every person on Earth. We are all very different from each other in many ways. Think of some people whom you respect or admire. Why do you respect or admire them? Could it be that the characteristics you respect and admire are also characteristics of God? I think that is probably the case. Let’s summarize this idea this way:
In many ways, God’s character is revealed by the best things we observe in other people.
To further clarify this, consider some character-trait opposites that are observable in various people. Which of the following traits do you think best describe God?
Courageous / Cowardly
Selfish / Generous
Strong / Weak
Incompetent / Skillful
Righteous / Unrighteous
Caring / Indifferent
Beautiful / Ugly
Unstable / Rock-Solid
Reliable / Unreliable
Hurtful / Comforting
Helpful / Destructive
Yes, we can learn much about God by observing the best in others.
For Further Reflection:
Contents | Next