Stuffing God Into a Box
Cartoons can say so much with so few words. This cartoon does that for me. As soon as I saw it I thought of a particular element on the choice theory chart. In case you don’t have the chart close by at the moment (I know that some of you have the chart memorized) here it is.
What part of the chart does this cartoon relate to for you? If you were teaching a choice theory class or workshop, could the cartoon be used to help class members understand the chart? I would love to hear from you on this. I suspect that the cartoon could be applied to more than one area of the chart and I would like to hear your take on it.
For me, the cartoon of a person trying to shove God into a box of their preconceived beliefs really relates to the concept of the Perceived World. The Perceived World represents our personal view of reality. We are constantly comparing the pictures we have in our Quality World (what we want) with the reality of our Perceived World (what we think we have). When what we want differs greatly enough from what we think we have, we choose a behavior that we think will fix the discrepancy.
The two filters to the left of the Perceived World are significant. We perceive reality through our senses, a sleek process that a) evaluates the level of knowledge we have about the input, and also b) evaluates the value we place on the input. The Knowledge filter is pretty straight-forward. Those things we have partial knowledge of or better slip through to our Values filter, which is a very important moment in the process of perceiving our reality. You’ll notice that the Values filter is the same color – yellow – as the Quality World. The Quality World is the album in our heads where we store pictures of everything that we come across in our lives that is need-satisfying. As children we learn things from our parents, our teachers, our pastors, and any number of other adults that we place in our Quality World. As a result the Quality World becomes a very powerful compass in our lives, not always an accurate compass, but a powerful one none the less. Powerful because what we place in our Quality World becomes the filter or lens through which we see our reality.
When I see a person trying to stuff God into a box of their own religious beliefs, it reminds me of the ability we have as human beings to create our own picture of reality, and further to believe that picture is in fact the only accurate picture of reality period. Voltaire, the French philosopher, may have understood this human ability when he wrote that “If God has created us in His own image, we have more than reciprocated.” So powerful is our Quality World filter and the picture of reality that we create that rather than letting God make is into His image, we go about making Him into our image.
We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are.
What did I miss? How would you use the cartoon to teach about a piece of the chart?
This same topic has been addressed in earlier posts. Check them out here –
Why Christians Are So Un-Christian
Click here to easily access a digital copy of the Glasser biography, Champion of Choice.
When I click on the Read More of this Post it says URL cannot be found.
Don’t have any idea why it didn’t work, but I have re-sent it. Hopefully, it is fixed.
Love this idea – so true that God is matched against our own Quality Wqrld Picture and therefore we want to teach children in the ways of the Lord so that they have truer pictures of who God is.
It is so true that we have the privilege of “teaching children in the ways of the Lord,” yet there is something deeper, something more important than even this. That something is teaching them about the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and then trusting the Holy Spirit to draw them further into relationship with Him, and trusting Him to reveal the character of God to them as He has done with us. We can be a part of this process, we need to be a part of this process, but we need to be careful that we are not trying to fit our kids into the mold of God that we have created in our own minds.
This is why I came to be very dissatisfied with the title of my first book, which presented the ideas of Choice Theory in a spiritual context. The book was (and is) called Soul Shapers. On the original cover it even had a picture of a cookie cutter, which emphasized the idea that adults are in the business of shaping the lives of children according to pre-determined criteria. This view has, of course, nothing to do with Choice Theory. The book is good; the title not so much.