The title of this article arouses interest. Sure. The proofs of God have always done that. But the result from (church) history is sobering: It seems to be proven that God cannot be proven. At least not in the way we imagine proofs to be. He is still “the wholly other” and so it is completely presumptuous to want to prove him. Would a proven God really be God, or wouldn’t he be a human construction after all?
But if I understand proof as evidence, as a strong hint, then perhaps there is something to say after all. And that is exactly what these lines are about. I would like to hint to such a God-hint. I call it the “relational proof of God” – or simply a hint. Since I have dealt and will deal with social psychology in the context of my dissertation, I came across something interesting in the field of relationship science. All the studies I have read about the diverse areas of close interpersonal relationships seemed to say the same thing: We humans are designed for the perfect partner. No matter if it is a spouse, parents or really close friendships. We need the perfect partner to be happy and fulfilled. However, of course this is overkill and all those self-help-books that try to make you believe that we can achieve this goal are of no help. Real life, our own experiences and all scientific studies show something different: We will not find the perfect partner. We will also not be able to be the perfect partner for others. An illusion and a dangerously destructive one at that.
Has nature made a mistake? In other words: Has God played an ironic (and sadistic) game on us? Why else would everything in us be aimed at a perfect partner, a perfect vis-à-vis? Or could it be that we do not have to look for and find this perfect “you” in other people? With all these aspects, in all these scientific studies, it dawned on me that God himself, as he is described in the Bible and as he has shown himself most clearly in Jesus Christ, is exactly this “you”: absolutely selfless, perfectly loving, accepting without reservation, without ulterior motives, without a hidden “agenda”, knows us through and through and yet holds himself back and makes room for us. Read 1 Corinthians 13 about love! This is how the perfect partner of the relationship sciences is described. God meets these criteria. Perfectly. So could the fact that we are programmed to have a perfect partner be a strong indication that God really exists; even more, that he is interested in us, that he is courting us, and that we ultimately only find fulfillment in our relationship with him? This “relational proof of God” makes sense – at least for me. We humans are designed for relationship, for a perfect “you”. If we cannot find this “you” in our world, then this could be a sign from heaven.
2 replies on “The relational proof of God”
This – especially in the last part – reminds me of a quote by Max Lucado:
„There is nothing on earth that can satisfy our deepest longing. We long to see God. The leaves of life are rustling with the rumor that we will – and we won’t be satisfied until we do.”
— Max Lucado
„If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.“
(That’s actually the quote I was looking for in the first place)