Why You Need More than God’s Grandfatherly Love


Something’s in the water. It goes down easy, but it’s killing us. 

Sometimes, I get the idea that many people think of God as a kind grandfather looking down on us with a winsome affection, shrugging when we sin, and responding, “Ah, kids these days.” 

He sees our sins primarily as mistakes, lapses in judgment, or psychological struggles. He knows we sin, but because we’re only human, he forgives. This picture is not entirely wrong, but it’s not entirely right either. 

We can start to see the problem when we look at what this picture of God says about who we are. 

To believe we’re “only human” is to suggest we’re relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, that we’re one among many creatures roaming the earth trying to survive. But is this true? 

No. Scripture reveals that human beings are a unique kind of creature. Specifically, we are the one creature in the heavens or on earth made in the image and likeness of creation’s Creator (Genesis 1:26, 27). Scripture also reveals that human beings are created to rule over and care for the rest of God’s creation on earth (Genesis 1:26b and 28, Psalm 8:3-6 and 115:16)

This is why, when the very first people sinned, they changed the course of things on the earth (Genesis 3:1-24, Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21). They cut the power line and creation went dark. Since then, creation hasn’t worked quite right. The soil doesn’t respond like it’s supposed to and produces thorns and thistles. Wedon’t work like we’re supposed to: Our bodies are vulnerable and need covering, we hide from God, work makes us sweat and wear down, childbearing is excruciating, we get sick and old and die. 

But you don’t need the Bible to tell you that sin leaves pain and ruin in its wake. You can see it around you. In my life…

I think here of a man I know who was raped by older boys when he was a child.

I think of the woman whose mother prostituted her to feed her drug addiction.

I think of college freshmen seeking value and dignity, but instead receiving instructions on condoms and consent.

I think of a generation of kids being spoon fed as “fact” a gender ideology that says their sexed biology is trivial; and the most vulnerable of these pursuing a kind of resurrection through having their breasts cut off or penises amputated.

I think of girls and boys kidnapped, sold, and trafficked for sex.

My Christian brothers and sisters, do not worship any god who waves his hand and brushes off sin. Humanity needs more than an angel of light who holds out an intoxicating cup of warm sentiment but leaves sin and death pillaging the earth. 

Let us instead fix our eyes on Jesus, the God revealed in the Scriptures, the God of righteousness—the God who makes things right. 

When He entered this dark landscape, we deemed Him “only human” too, but He revealed what it is to be truly human. He refused to recoil at the sight of our sin-wrecked state, and instead drew ever nearer to us. Eyes wide and clear, He presented Himself as an acceptable offering for our mistakes, missteps, struggles, disease, lust, violence, and all manner of sin. 

As for me and my house, we need the One who became flesh and dwelt among us, whose heel was bruised by the serpent, who sweat red in Golgotha, was crowned with thorns, was exposed bleeding on a cursed tree, bore the weight of God’s abandonment, saw the sky go dark, and labored even unto death to bring us new birth.

Lord, forgive us for worshiping a god and a love of our own design. We confess we need more. We need You, Jesus. We need Your death and resurrection, which takes away the sins of the world. We place our faith in You! Forgive us also for making little of ourselves and our lives. We repent of our sin. Fill us afresh with Your Holy Spirit that we may live with and for you this day. Amen. 

Leave a comment below. 

For you,

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  • Wow Josh, what a revealing post! Sometimes He is not a granddad but a stern uncle! A dad in another form! I’m indeed made in His image yet too often, when I look into the mirror to reveal His image of me, the mirror is steamed up in my sin! Only the dry wind of the Holy Spirit can clean me up IF I want Him to do so! He always wants to but too often when the Holy Spirit blows on that mirror, I walk out of the room! Because of His dry air dries off the moisture of sin, it’s not comfortable and I often find comfort in “other areas”. But God! He is revealing His nature to me more and more and now I turn off the hot water from the sin-shower so the mirror becomes clearer.

  • Wow! So much food for thought and so important. You do such a good job of explaining that we worship a righteous holy God. We don’t worship a grandfather or an uncle. I had just had lunch with a friend and we had been talking about why it is that God did not, and does not, just wave away pain and evil. Such a perceptive point of view. He has given us authority and we have to learn to deal with it. And the beautiful thing is that he helps us. He comes nearer, and nearer to us, but he does not just ignore sin as something trivial. Thanks for this!!!

  • Excellent! We do not want to admit the sinfulness of our sin, but instead to regret its consequences in our lives, and to continue in our favorite sins with God’s tolerance of them.

By Josh Glaser

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