In the film Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey’s character Bruce thought that God does a poor job. So God gave him a chance to improve it. He was endowed with such omnipotence that he indulged himself in living out his fantasies and getting even with his enemies. But it turns out that he could not bear the gravity of God’s job. He quit and learned a valuable lesson of being himself. While this short summary may not entirely encapsulate the whole story, I intended to revisit an important theme symbolized by the film: what if we all become God?
It is extremely unimaginable for many of us to believe that we can become God. God is a being far from our reach, a father whom we cannot surpass. The idea of becoming God is no less than blasphemy. Becoming God is an illusion that many of us fear if someone might wreak havoc on a pretense that he or she is as powerful as God. That if a person becomes God, he or she would have the capacity to decide the fate of humanity, the right to revenge and punish, and the potency of possessing anyone or anything. That becoming God is idolatry in its worst, as if a devil incarnated and ready to rule the world.
But every thought on the consequences of becoming God is a collection of our misunderstanding of who God really is. No one has seen God, save our own depiction of him. Nonetheless, we continue to create an image of God who seems to be more of a ruthless tyrant than a Loving soul. We continue to shape God in an image of a military dictator who would annihilate sinners and enemies. And we continue to fear God, believing that “fear in God” is the only way to submit ourselves to him. By the same virtue, we fear of someone becoming a God who is filled with jealousy, wrath and a penchant to destroy. Likewise, we fear ourselves of becoming God, for we do not desire to be mocked by others who fear that we would become the God that many of us feared of.
Becoming God is life – or Love – lived well
We are often confused. We have mistaken becoming with playing God. These two concepts are similar in some respects, but they are both distinctly different. They seem so similar because both actions bring us so much power. The difference between them couldn’t be clearer. Playing God is assuming that as a God, one has the privelege to own all things, to rule all power, to control all humanity. Playing God is an illusion of who God is, a lie collectively playing in our minds. And it has caused us huge devastation and abysmal suffering.
From our closest relationships to relationships between races and nations, playing God has pained us deeply. Anyone who plays God cannot Love. Playing God is a deception, an idea that one is superior and more powerful over the other. It is founded upon unchecked greed and fear. It is power that most of us seek to achieve. However, the irony of playing God was a warning Jesus himself told us: “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). Playing God is nothing less than exalting oneself into such capacity for dominion over others. This game of playing God has already reached its end.
I am the life. This is the third Agape principle. This is the antithesis of playing God. For God is not a role to play, but a life to live and to become. The true image of God is expressed in the image of Love we recognize in ourselves and in others. Becoming God is life – or Love – lived well. Becoming God is an experience of being one and the same with our brothers and sisters, seeing and caring them and allowing them to live and grow. This is Jesus’ new command to us who are ready to follow his lead. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have Loved you, you must Love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you Love one another.” (John 13:34-35) Jesus assured us that we can become God, just as he became God, if we begin to follow his example of Love. “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
We have the simplest ways we can follow to become God: through the practice of Agape, the embodying of Love. “Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) If we assumed just one or all of these in our daily thoughts, words and actions, we have become God. We humble ourselves not to become inferior over others, but to subdue our egos and express Love. This is a return to our true nature, which is God. As our playing God ends, our journey to the path to Agape begins.