Fully Appreciating Who God Is

(something I wrote a while back...)

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things.
- Romans 1:22-23 (WEB)

It's something that has been on my mind recently: being thankful for all of God's attributes… even the ones that can seem unpleasant.

I had been asking myself (hypothetically of course) that if I had the opportunity to change God's character in some way, would I? Would I make Him less just and more forgiving (towards me of course)? Would I want to "customize" Him to my specifications? Make Him into my ideal? My image? (I had been thinking of this before I heard the phrase on Michael Card's radio program that God is "not necessarily the God that we would have chosen".)

Or would I be completely and utterly satisfied with God as He is, even if it inconveniences me or causes me pain?

This is similar to some people's idea of how marriage works. You marry because of things you like about a person, but nobody's perfect. As far as the other aspects that you don't like, you have this subconscious desire and intention to change the person after you are married to meet your ideal. That is not what marriage is about. You're supposed to love and appreciate the person as he or she is.

Of course, people are not perfect. It's understandable to want to make someone better. If you see a flaw in someone you love, you want to see that flaw removed. But God's character is perfect – it can't be improved. Yet, sometimes I wonder if we act like God's holiness and righteousness are character defects… they're too strong and rigid… they need mollifying. And so we don't proclaim all of God's character attributes but try to make excuses for them before the world. In doing so, we proclaim a false God – an idol.

If God does not match up with my ideal, then there's something wrong with my ideal.
In my humble opinion; mankind has gotten so far away from the "holiness" of God, even the people who claim to be His children forget we live under the umbrella of His tender mercies. (We have been grafted in after He redeemed/ reclaimed us) As Christ said- 'to save that which was lost'.

There is a movement-even some well established religions- that bring God down to our level. We humans-as a whole-have no clue what "HOLY HOLY HOLY" is our Lord God almighty means anymore. We want a 'convenient' God.
I find many (most?) Christians tend to focus on certain aspects of God's character. Churches that are heavy on God's love are light on His wrath, and vice versa. I think many are one-sided because they see other churches going too far one way, so they try to counter it by going too far the other way. But either way, the whole God is not preached. Preaching on this topic should not be reactionary, but on the needs of the listeners. What do they need to know about God?

I view God's holiness as the one attribute that describes the degree of all his other character attributes. In today's language, holiness is God's integrity of character: He will not compromise who He is. He will not compromise His righteousness. He will not compromise His love. Etc.

When you see people in the Bible interceding for others (i.e. Abraham for Lot, Moses for Israel, etc), they always appeal to God's character. They didn't ask God to compromise, but to act on who He already is.