This is the last post that I intend to write about significant questions that people often ask at some point in their journeys. We have asked about origin, destiny and purpose and now I want to ask what God is like. (Assuming that you believe that their is a Deity after all). Why is this an important question? Well, our image of God frames our response to God. If God is authoritarian or distant then our response will be fearful or disinterested. If God is gentle and vaguely human in appearance then we may respond with intimacy and openness.
Our image of God is shaped by the religious system that we subscribe to, by the media, culture and so on. Some people groups have a god standing in judgement, others a god who is intimately involved in the unfolding of creation. Some have a plethora of gods and others a single god. Some allow no image of god to be fashioned yet another has a god-who-has-been-human. Even within the same religious system there are huge differences between how believers see their God. It is worth considering how you perceive God: from physical attributes, if you think that is relevant, to their interaction with humans. I certainly need a God who has some involvement with us as individuals beyond the mere act of creation.
A more probing question than what God is like is what would we prefer God to be like. Now that is not meant to be heretical but it is meant to encourage us to pick apart our preconceptions of God. For example, you may have an authoritarian and distant god but would prefer one that was a little more interested in your everyday affairs. You may wish God intervened more in life or was easier to communicate with. That realisation alone may encourage you to investigate your sacred text to look for evidence that God is more loving than you had been led to believe. It might also help to steer your prayers and contemplation towards being more open with God. It is not that we can create a God to our liking but it may be that we can search harder after God and see whether the God we believe in is actually better than we had been led to believe.
I have enjoyed asking these questions and hope that you have found them stimulating. My purpose in sharing them was to encourage people to wrestle with them and not just assume that the answers were already known.