“Your view of God will dictate how well you can forgive!” Dr. David Seamands makes this statement in his book, Healing for Damaged Emotions.

He tells of a seminary student who was a straight A student, but he was an emotional wreck. He was struggling with overwhelming guilt. Dr. Seamands’ question to him was, “What is your view of God?”

“I’ll bring God’s picture to you tomorrow,” the young man promised. Dr. Seamands was very interested in what a theologian’s picture of God would be like. Would it include sunrays, laser beams, infra-red lights or what? 

The following day the young returned with a picture of Ebenezer Scrooge. “That’s my view of God,” he proclaimed. Then he pointed to Tiny Tim and added, “Here I am.” 

This young man had a difficult time forgiving himself and others, because he viewed God as a mean-spirited, miserly, angry Scrooge. 

How do you view God? What is your concept of God? Do you see God as a Scrooge, a rigid,

inflexible, unyielding being who delights in punishing you? Or do you see God as doting, indulging old grandfather, who would never consider that you had sinned, much less hold you accountable. Both extremes are wrong.

Jesus describes God as the father who anxiously awaits his wayward son to return home. When the son comes to his senses and does return home, the father not only forgives him, but throws a big party for him. Reread the story the waiting father in Luke 15:11-24.

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.