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Series: The Ten Commandments
The Second Commandment: God is Revealed, Not Created

Exodus 20:4, NRSV
Colossians 1:15-23, NRSV

Reflections

God says to us in the 2nd Commandment, “If you stop trying to make me into your likeness, I can start making you into my likeness. If you only will let me stretch your imagination instead of you confining me to your imagination, I can make you into something beyond your wildest imagination.”

— Tim Keller

  • Often times we have low expectation with God
  • One way to get to know God is by looking at Jesus
  • Second commandment is a little more specific than other commandments
  • With idolatry, we won’t get ourselves right, we won’t get God right, we won’t get others/love right
  • With idolatry, we try to get the god we prefer, rather than the God that’s been revealed, through Jesus Christ
  • Getting ourselves right
  • John Calvin – Knowledge of God and knowledge of self is interconnected
  • We construct our own image of self as we grow up; we all have our own strategy to cope with the world without God
  • Some of the life strategies we come up with: isolation, perfection, fact-finding, fear
  • But none of them can deal with the fullness and completeness of ourselves
  • None of them has to do with the love of God
  • Getting God right
  • The god we prefer is a distorted image of God
  • God could seem too harsh or too soft when the image doesn’t match our distortion
  • Mystery of nailing on a cross: there is a difference between thinking it as a problem being solved by God, and thinking it as God’s revelation of His character
  • Getting others (or love for others) right
  • “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.” — from the book “The Way of Chuang Tzu” (莊子), by Thomas Merton, American Catholic writer, a keen proponent of interfaith understanding
  • From marriage counseling: What you hope is you are marrying a good block of marble, not a statue. Not so you can create the kind of person you want, but rather because you see what kind of person Jesus is making.
  • Demanding others to fit into our ideal, can only lead to anger, disappointment, cynicism
  • All of us were made in God’s image, with just as much complexity
  • Love others in a different way; not trying to control and fit into our idea

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