God is like a mirror because our thoughts about God are actually an accurate reflection of what is inside our hearts, and generally has little to do with who God truly is. We imagine God acting as we would in all circumstances, even though God has constantly said that he is not like us.
I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. Hosea 11:9
Hosea’s message is one of unbelievable forgiveness and mercy. While men would surely destroy their enemies, God says that he will not. Despite what God says, we still persist in imagining God acting as we would.
One tragic misunderstanding about God is that God detests us because of our sinfulness. Many believe that God cannot stand being around us, that his anger is directed toward us, and that only Jesus, by dying on the cross, can avert this fearsome wrath of his Father. We are projecting on God our attitudes, thinking that God must be as angry and bitter as we would to be toward those who mistreat or disobey us.
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:11
These words of Paul are not describing God’s animosity toward us. The truth is, God has never considered us his enemies. We are the ones who hate, not God. In our minds we make God our enemy, though we are not enemies in his eyes.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. Colossians 1:21
Paul says that it is in our minds that the hostility and animosity occurs. We make God our enemy in the way we think, and then project on God what we believe must be his attitude toward us. Though our ungodly behavior makes us believe this must be the case, the alienation is on our part and not God’s. Actually, in God’s eyes we are beloved children, disobedient for sure, but always loved.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
We have peace with God through Jesus Christ, not because Jesus soothed his Father’s anger by satisfying his requirement that sinners be punished, Jesus taking our place. Instead, Jesus, by submitting to our worst and forgiving us anyway, breaks the human logic that believes we are enemies of God, winning us with impossible love. We can hardly maintain a mindset of being enemies of God when God becomes one of us, serves us, we kill him, he forgives us from the cross, and then rises from the dead, not to take vengeance, but to invite us to join him at his banquet table!
As others have said, Jesus does not change the mind of his Father about us, but our minds about God. Welcome to the Kingdom of the peacemaking God!