How do you describe God to someone?

There are so many ways to describe God. Why does it matter which one you choose?

Because how you describe someone important to you reveals how and why you value that person.

You can describe God in a way that makes him sound like the central idea of a religious system. Or your language can create the sense of God as someone you have a life-changing relationship with.

What language do you choose to describe God?

Your answer will likely determine whether you describe a God you know or just a God you know about.

People are more likely to be interested in how you experience knowing God in your everyday life than in a “right answer” you prepared before the conversation.

What’s different about the way you live each day and see the world because you know God in a personal way?

Maybe you cannot find the perfect words to describe knowing God. That’s okay. Be yourself. Describe your personal experience of God. Then trust the Holy Spirit to do what only he can do in opening the other person’s mind to what you’re saying.


Describing God – where do you start?

It’s normal to think we need a prepared explanation of what we believe about God. Of course, it’s good to know what you believe. But “off the shelf” descriptions often fail to resonate with people.

If you’re having an open and honest conversation with someone, it may be better to start from what that person thinks about God or the idea of God.

Resist trying to get a person from where he or she is to where you are too quickly. First, make sure you really understand where the person you care about is coming from.

How does the person you care about describe God?

If you’re unsure how to answer this question, try being more curious. If you’re genuinely interested in someone else’s ideas and beliefs, he or she is more likely to be interested in yours.

You can create opportunities through your curiosity to describe the God you know.

You might say something like this:

“Hey, I’ve been thinking about the way I describe God to people. And it made me wonder what words you’d use to describe God. Are you comfortable telling me?”

The other person may not have thought about this before. But he or she is still likely to have some kind of immediate response to your question.

If the person talks about not being a Christian, or about believing in another religion, remember to affirm that. He or she has a way of thinking about God, and you’re genuinely curious about it.

It’s possible no one ever took the time to ask what he or she thinks about God or spiritual things. By asking, you’re demonstrating your desire to know the person on a deeper level.

A good spiritual conversation is two or more people genuinely interested in and trying to understand one another. A great conversation is when those people discover together what is true.