How we think of God directly influences how we relate to God. So much of what we think about God was formed in our early childhood years and rests within us unchanged for years hence. What is you concept of God? What is your default setting for God that you return to when your world is challenging? And how do you want to think of God? In a computer the computer always returns to its default setting until the software is upgraded; that can happen with us, too, especially when we feel vulnerable. Has your concept of God matured and grown as you have matured or are you still back with the “Big Guy in the Sky Who Will Punish You for All Your Sins?”
Is your God more Jehovah than Jesus’ Abba? Are you afraid of God? Do you know the difference between awe and fear? Do you feel forgiven in your mind, your heart, your soul and your body? Are you still trying to prove to God and everyone else that you belong? That you are worthy? That you are okay? Are you angry at God? For the way your life has turned out? For a personal tragedy? For unfulfilled dreams? Do you have a real, dynamic relationship with God or is it static? The same-old, same-old year after year?
Read the Psalms! You’ll find heartbreak, anger, fear, and complaining, along with love, praise, comfort and great appreciation and more in them. They are a instruction book for a real relationship with God, because King David and the other authors let it all hang out—their hopes and dreams and angers and fears. And we can, too, if we want to have a close personal relationship with our Creator. At once God is the greatest mystery and the closest personal relationship we can have. But we have to express to God every single thing that stands between us, so that God can then transform us into the people we were created to be.
Each of us has a concept of God, a very personal concept or image, that either draws us into a deeper relationship with God or drives us farther and farther away. If your concept of God keeps you a hurt child in the relationship or a passive-aggressive teen refusing anything from God or from entertaining other ways of looking at God or from seeing a loving, forgiving God, it may be time to permanently replace that image. And here I would suggest that you forgo asking others what they think of God, but ask your own deep self/soul/spirit what God is to you. And keep asking the question until you are satisfied with an answer that matches your experience of God in the present.