Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

stepping out of character


Someone has asked the question of whether we as humans are our truest selves when we behave well or badly? It’s an intriguing question with perhaps no yes or no answer. Is my real character that which I normally exhibit or that which is shown abnormally. We assume, with some reasonableness, that the predominant behavior defines character and not the exceptions.

I suspect we also recognize that outward displays of character involve a bit of playacting in all of us. We often choose to present a public persona which is not the real us. If we were truly authentic, without public posturing, how might our character be displayed differently?

An important aspect of anyone’s theology is his or her understanding of God’s character, how God behaves and why. Many Christians view God’s character as a conflicted and confusing mixture at best. I don’t need to elaborate on the conflict; it is well known.

That conflict of character is evident in the difference between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Many wonder if the God of the Old can be the same as the God of the New. If they are the same deity, did God step out of character when He humbled Himself in Jesus?  Is the example of Jesus really a marked contrast with God’s own defining characteristics? It hardly seems possible that God’s nature would not be accurately portrayed in the teachings of His ultimate messenger. If there is a seeming conflict between an earlier picture of God and that of Jesus, why wouldn’t I assume that in Jesus, God stepped into His true character, not in the sense of being new and different but rather in displaying His true self completely and dramatically once and for all.