[M]y wife Michelle and I had a funny conversation today. Her debit card had been declined a couple of times and she asked me if mine was too. When I told her that mine was working fine I encouraged her to call our bank and find out what was going on. She learned that her card had been flagged because she had tried to make an online purchase…Yankee toddler sheets.
They told her that she normally didn’t use her card online so this looked suspicious and was flagged. Apparently they missed the fact that she used that same card to buy a stroller, which cost much more than the sheets, the day before. After she got off the phone she sat and processed the conversation she’d just had. Then she pointed out to me that I had recently been to Egypt, used my debit card there multiple times, and had no problems myself. Apparently the banks create a reputation for you and then follow it closely.
It strikes me that we do the same with God. Those of us that have had good experiences with God, and consequently have a positive view of Him, tend to experience Him in this light. Those of us that have had bad experiences with God, or more accurately bad experiences with Christians representing God, consequently have a negative view of Him and tend to experience Him in this light.
But here’s the danger: allowing a bad reputation of God to cause you to decline on Him for future possibilities is self-restricting, especially if your expectation of God is wrong. And from my experiences, most people’s negative views on God are based on inaccurate Christians and an inaccurate understanding of the nature of God. So if you are caught in this cycle of responding to God in this way, I invite you to give Him a chance. You might just find that His account is good for it.