Do you know what a circular argument is? If you have kids, you could probably teach a seminar on circular arguments. Here’s one:
Dad to teenage son: “Son, why don’t you get a job?”
Dad: “So that you can earn some money.”
Dad: “So that you can put some money in a bank account and earn interest.”
Dad: “So that when you’re old you can use the money you have saved to live on and you won’t ever have to work again.”
Son: “I’m not working now.”
Communication is hard work. You are engaged in a process of forming messages, expressing messages, seeking feedback to your messages, clarifying your messages, listening to being transmitted back to you … it can and often goes on for a while, right? You’re not just trying to convey facts. You’re also attempting to package instruction, encouragement, displeasure, emotion, timing, tone, and other factors.
Think about the father mentioned above. Now think about another Father who is trying to communicate with His children. The writer of Hebrews expressed it this way: “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. But now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son” (Hebrews 1:1,2).
Do you think the Father ever gets frustrated or disgusted with His children? I’ve given Him plenty of reasons for both. So have you. We cannot understand His thoughts or His ways perfectly or completely, but we can realize that He loves us enough to keep speaking and acting and leading and correcting and encouraging.
John opened his gospel with these words: “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and He was God” (John 1:1). Genesis tells us that God spoke the world into creation. John explained further that the Word became flesh and lived among us. God didn’t just tell us; He showed us. He didn’t just look over us; He became one of us. He communicates through the world He formed, through the Word He inspired and through the Son He gave. His Spirit continues to speak and act in love, mercy, grace, justice, and hope. He’s still at it; it would help if we paid attention!