Posted by: zephaniah317 | January 29, 2012

God…My Dad

My Dad passed away this past January.  He was 87 years old.  My relationship with him was strained, difficult at times.  I grew up in a very, very strict household (just search back through some of my older posts on here, you’ll see).  We never hated each other, just never really connected.  He was emotionally detached, the classic “provider” for our family, but not much more.  I became to feel like a nuisance to him as I grew older.

Then, as I grew through my 20’s and 30’s, he became needy to ME.  (my mother passed away when I was a freshman in college)  Whereas when I was younger, it was just detached, now it was draining to be around him.  Christmas and Thanksgiving vacations to TX to visit him left me more tired than when I left.

Sadly, a LOT of this has translated to how I view God.  My head knows from all I’ve read that God is SO not like my earthly father.  He is powerful, faithful, caring, fierce and fiercely devoted to all His children.  His love is never-ending, steadfast, all-encompassing, surrounding me as I type these words.

But, again, sadly…my heart does not know this to the fullest extent that it should.

Maybe the verse in my daily devotional (which has NOT been daily lately) this morning will help.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:14-15

I dusted off my concordance.  I wanted to know what the Greek translation of “friend” and “servant” meant.  Because I never knew what my dad was about.  I’ve met my siblings from dad’s previous marriage since he passed:  he kept everything prior to meeting my mom a secret from me, because they were troubling and difficult times in his life.  I wish he’d been more open about those real times so I’d have known him better.  Anyway…

“Friend” was a familiar Greek word to me:  Philos.  “Loved, dear, or friendly”; also “fond”.
“Servant” is doulos.  “Bond man”; “a slave”; “one who gives himself up to the will of another”.  Ho hum.  Yep.  Heard that, too.  Here’s a difference though, which thankfully, Mr. Strong (or whoever wrote this huge book) put in:  This is not what Paul meant when he said spoke of being a slave to Christ in Romans 6.  That is the word diakonos, which is related to the service the slave is doing, not to the relationship to his Master, as doulos is.

As a doulos, we have no choice.  As a diakonos, we have willingly chosen to do the work that God has given us.  We have chosen this of our free will.  God doesn’t manipulate anyone into being his child; we already are.  It’s up to us to decide whether we want to follow Him or not; as a philos.  He is fond of me.  It’s still not sinking in like I’d like it to, but maybe if I meditate on that a while…

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