I seem to remember learning something from a college communication class about “Joe’s Bill, Bill’s Joe, Joe’s Bill’s Joe and Bill’s Joe’s Bill.”
“Um, David. What? I think you just happened to wake up during that class and only got a bit of what the prof was saying.”
No. For once, I was awake. (My eyes were probably crossed trying to understand, but awake I was). What the teacher told us was that when Joe and Bill communicate Joe has his idea of Bill—Joe’s Bill.
And Bill has his idea of Joe—Bill’s Joe. And Joe has his idea of what Bill thinks of him—Joe’s Bill’s Joe. And Bill has his idea of what Joe thinks of him—Bill’s Joe’s Bill.
You still there?
This all influences how we talk with each other. If Joe thinks Bill hates him it will come out in his way of communicating with Bill. If Bill thinks Joe likes him that will show up in his words, his gestures, and his actions.
If Joe thinks that Bill thinks that he (Joe) is wonderful, he will interact differently with him. And if Bill thinks that Joe thinks that he is a goose, that will also honk into their relationship.
“C’mon David, what are you getting at?”
Your God’s You
I think a lot of us have a hard time in our communications with God because of what we think He thinks of us. “David’s God’s David” if you will. Or “Your God’s You.”
We put all our emphasis on our failures and conclude that a perfect God couldn’t think well of us. So we approach him like a little boy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
“Come here you!”
“Uh, oh! I’m going to catch it now.”
Question: do you quit loving your kids when they goof up? Not if you’re a parent with God’s heart and not if you realize how often you mess up yourself.
What is God’s David? And what is God’s opinion of you?
“ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV)
And He’s constantly thinking about you. We can’t understand that because our consciousness is limited but He is eternal and unlimited.
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Ps. 139:17, 18, NKJV)
“But, David. I’m so frustrated with myself. God must be even more so. How can He continue to have patience with me? I come back and really want to please Him but it seems that I’m falling on my nose way more than I should. How can He still love me?”
“’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8, NKJV). His opinion of us isn’t a carte blanche to sin. It’s a patient Father, picking us up and helping us again and again until we overcome in our battle.
What God Really Thinks
Please forgive me for repeating myself but the scripture that gets me all excited because it reveals how God sees me is this one:
“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17).
When Joe gets confused about what Bill thinks about him it can really hinder their relationship. Ever thought someone was annoyed with you and they weren’t?
One fellow said he got mad at his wife and slept a whole week hugging the edge of the bed on his side to communicate his anger. At the end of the week he discovered that she didn’t even know he was irate. That’s what he said, anyway.
I think a lot of us are confused about what God thinks of us and that spoils our relationship with Him. Because we think He’s constantly mad at us, we have a hard time loving Him like we want to.
Check out those verses we just read again. There are tons more like them. Maybe, if “your God’s you” was more accurate then your idea of God would revolutionize your whole life.
“Shared history is a big part of being in love.” Stephen Ambrose
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