Powers of a God vs Heart of a God

Originally Posted September 30 2016

As a fantasy reader, novelist, and avid world builder, I’ve always found mythology fascinating. However, the more about it that I read, the more I find it proves a line from my latest book very true;

“The powers of a god are meaningless without the heart of one.”

While people find it fairly easy to imagine having god-like powers, and can even start to wrap their minds around the concept of omnipotence, I find every writer at some point stumbles into the pitfall of limiting their celestial creations with the handicap of a VERY human heart.

This is one of the reasons it is (usually) fairly simple to sort the origin stories you read. You have those who crave power and thus enslave until they are overthrown. Those who start out with good intentions, but let their paranoia and fears corrupt them into villains themselves. Those who are simply using creation as pawns in their much larger game. Those who are apathetic and may as well just help here and there because it might be interesting. And those who invest in creation because it is their child that will one day bring forth results they cannot find otherwise.

In all these examples, their godhood is cheapened by their human characteristics. Their fear, their paranoia, their lust, and most of all the simple lacking in their nature that creation is needed to fill.

God is not a term for “powerful being”. It is a term for all knowing, ever present, all powerful, and complete within itself. It is a term forever beyond human comprehension, as it is something beyond humans entirely. A being so great that He could create all things, not that He needed to, but that He wanted to. That He would sacrifice Himself for them. Not because they are necessary to His plan, but because He loved them. God did not gain anything from helping or creating creation. He did it for He loved us.

We have trouble as humans to comprehend the heart. The mind can be strengthened, the body can grow in power, but the heart? Can such a thing be changed? Aren’t we forever slaves to how we feel and our emotions? And as such, the heart is often the weakest link in most of our creation.

We strive to create sentience, yet fear losing control over it. But you can’t have sentience without free will, if you were to have complete control over sentience, you would create a torturous life where your creation questions their actions constantly yet cannot stop them. You can create sentience with naivety forcing them to trust you to know what is right or wrong, but even then they must still have the choice of to continue trusting you or to trust their own abilities to discover the difference between good and evil.

God does not fear the lack of control, for God is all powerful. Man did not overthrow God, Jesus lay His life down for man. God does not fear man’s sentience, though it pains Him to see them hurt themselves.

To understand God, you must not settle for all knowing and all powerful. Any fool could become a demon with such things. To understand God you must understand the heart behind God. Only then do you begin to comprehend Him

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