Earlier in the year I heard these two relational parables. While they each engage with different things, they illuminate aspects of our relationship with God and are worth listening to.
1. When someone (for example your mother) wants to share a relationship with you, and you want the same with them, there will always be things that you will open up to each other about and some things that are private. Some things are too close and personal to be able to share, and it is always a personal choice when you do. The relationship will still be healthy as long as those borders are respected, and in the same way it will ultimately break down if you or your mother tries to peek behind that curtain. The same is true for all of our relationships. To be in a healthy relationship with you, a person doesn’t need to know everything, especially when honesty and trust are the basis for what is shared. They need to know what you give them to know.
When God chooses to make Himself known to His creation, He does so in the way He chooses and allows us to know what He chooses to reveal to us. It’s only through those revelations and interactions that we relate to Him. To guess and speculate beyond those communications is to disrespect a border put in place by God (and you’ll definitely get it wrong). Wisdom is relational, it belongs within trust. So even while we keep learning and seeing more clearly, truth is true for the simple as it is for the wise.
2. There are two married couples whose relationships could be compared. One of the couples constantly shows and speaks about how much they love each other and how great their marriage is, so everyone is shocked when one day they announce that they are breaking up. The other couple is not loud about their relationship in public: they are kind and civil to each other, but not looking to seem better than others. At home they are close, they treasure aspects of their lives together, and they are faithful through many different situations.
It’s better to be like the second couple, especially when it comes to religion and our closeness to God. Of course it’s important to live a transparent life that encourages others, to openly share what we are given and learn. This should never replace the things that lie at the heart and are held with God alone. Don’t let our words become empty.