I'm naturally a "black and white" / "good or bad" / "on or off" person. But God isn't actually like that. Or rather His expanse is so large it appears that way to us. This is not suggesting relative morality. I'm just trying in my finite human mind to express something I've learned - not to create a new cult.

When He created the world, it wasn't so limited. It had the potential for diversity as it developed. I'm constantly amazed by awesome things scientists discover about the world.

My current understanding of just how great God is conflicts with much I've previously assumed, so I thought I'd try and put down a few thoughts of my current understanding of the world.

The thing that's really important to God is relationships. Before creation God - a tri-partite being - had a relationship within the Trinity. Now there is no way I can understand even a small piece of this. It is way beyond what a finite mind can get to grips with. But that's the starting point. And He made us like Him (albeit finite). So relationships are part of who we are.

At some stage (before the beginning of time even that human concept is irrelevant - but it's all I've got) He created the world as a place for us, and then He created us. Why? Who really knows the details - but He said it was good. However, it was not good that man was alone. So God created a mate for his man - someone with whom he could have a relationship.

We all know how the enemy used that relationship to spoil the relationship between God and man. Then one of their children even murdered another - so the first human relationship didn't remain perfect for long - and relationships went downhill from there. And we wonder why various groups want to destroy other groups in the world today.

Today our relationship with God is at best a shadow of what is possible - and the same applies to our relationships with others. There is lots of advice out there about relationships with people. As with all human ideas, there is a mixture of good and bad - from brilliant to harmful.

It's not helped by having to use language. I've mentioned elsewhere how language is constantly changing - especially for those born since the '80s (e.g. our children). In Jesus culture, they had different words for love - a key to relationships. We say "I love fish and chips", "I love my parents", "I love my spouse" and "I love God" with no hint of irony. We know there are different meanings to the word love - but Jesus knew the different words for different types of love - and used them accordingly.

But just because we "love" someone doesn't mean we understand them. We've only learned relatively recently about the three learning styles, and internal vs external motivations. These have helped us appreciate how what we see as loving help can come across as negative.

Perhaps for the first time in my life, I appreciate the importance of communication. I simply can't go past it. So before we argue or take offence at what someone has said, the first rule (instead of blindly following mouth) is to make sure we understand what is being said. It is particularly easy to impart or pre-conceptions without first checking. Often some education is helpful - but this will be more easily accepted if the other person doesn't feel we've just shot them down. They may even help us to see things in a new light.

Of course with God, it's not quite the same. Not only is He omnipotent, omniscient and lots of other big words, but he also knows us. I sometimes want Him to just lay out the plan for each day so I didn't have to figure everything out for myself. But God wants us to use our minds - far more than we are used to thinking. But He wants us to use them always in relationship with Him.

So just as communication is vital to human relationships, so too it is vital to spiritual relationships.

One last thought: communication is not limited to words - perhaps especially for those who operate "differently" from what society has come to regard as normal. Words are the one tool we have in common - yet much communication occurs in other ways.