Sunday, October 4, 2009


Transference.  At times, it can be a therapist's greatest enemy. 

Wikipedia lists the definition of transference:  the unconscious redirection of feelings for one person to another.

Redirecting feelings for one person, to another...usually, the feelings are negative.  And usually, those they are transferred upon have not an ounce of responsibility for the feelings.   Transference happens all around us without our even realizing it sometimes.  In fact, I believe it even influences our relationship with God.

I was thinking a little about that today.  Some thoughts on that:

Exodus 3:14

I Am who I Am.

We’re always trying to figure out God.  Always trying to wrap our boundaries around his boundlessness, to tack our names on his namelessness.  Always trying to fit Him into our preconceived notions and small ideas.  Putting him into our little boxes.  I suppose that makes us feel safe, keeps us in control.

But in order for God to be God- He has to shatter our tiny molds.  And that is exactly what He does when we allow Him to.  That’s the beauty of our Lord.  He has no need for pushing and shoving His way into our lives.  He meets us where we’re at.  Moses came to Him with his own reservations, allowing his own inadequacies to taint his perspective of God.  Concerned with the recent mistakes that he had made, and fearful of the rejection he might receive when he approached his people, he had allowed his own short comings to influence his view of God.

I’m beginning to realize our human tendency to follow in that pattern.  Painting God with the colors of our own fear, shame, doubt, insecurity, and unforgiveness.  Allowing the mistakes that we have made or the pains that others have caused us to influence our perspective of who He is.  Taking the faces of those around us- the good, the bad, and the ugly- and transplanting those faces onto Him.  Placing Him in our tiny worlds.

I am thankful that our God does not take our names, though we push them on Him.  I am thankful that He does not allow us to determine who He is.  He is who He is.  Nothing short of that will do.  He is the embodiment of all that is good and the sustenance for all that we need.  The answer was simple: I am who I am.

Even with such an encompassing answer, it’s hard to stop trying to make sense of Him.  It’s hard to really believe that He is the I AM.  I AM the answer to all your problems, the comfort through all your fears, the joy for all your sorrows, the healer of all your injustices.  I AM.  How drastically our worlds would change if we truly believed this.  How infinitely large our tiny worlds would become.  

Today, take some time to consider the perspective you’ve developed.  Take some time to assess the human inadequacies that you may have transferred onto your God.  Take some time to obliterate the deficient definitions you have so hastily cast upon Him, asking Him to reveal His true name to you.

Lord, we have placed you in the prison of our feeble prototypes.   Forgive us that we have not understood your greatness.  Forgive us that we have not lived as though you were truly the I AM.  Regain your rightful place in our lives.  Reveal to us the boundlessness of your name. 


  1. Deb,

    Thanks for sharing. Ashley and I were reading a book by AZ Tozer entitled "Knowledge of the Holy" awhile ago. She noted something the author said that always stuck w/ me. Whenver they talked about heaven and God, they always said "like".

    "He tells us this thins like something we already know, but He is always careful to phrase His description so as to save us from slavish literalism. For example, when the prophet Ezekiel saw heaven opened and beheld visions of God, he found himself looking at which he had no language to describe. What he was seeing was wholly different from anything he had ever known before, so he fell back upon the language of resemblance. 'As for the likeness of living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire." Tozer, p. 7

    As you said, we bring God down to our level so it's easier to deal with Him. I was reading another book by Ravi Zacharias about how people envision God to be like the characters of their fathers. Some might have a more difficult time w/ religion because their fathers were harsher with them as children. Others might see God as loving because their own fathers' were. We place wordly constraints and characteristics upon God rather than coming to a place where we are worshiping omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience.

  2. Andrew, wow, awesome thoughts. I particularly enjoyed that last paragraph regarding our tendency to view God as we see our fathers.

    I think another problem is that many nonbelievers see God as Christians portray him, which can span the spectrum from loving to hateful.

    It's important to recognize the faces we put on God...and like you said, come to a place where we're really worshiping Him and not our own image of Him. Thanks so much for your thoughts, I really enjoy them.


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