So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
What a powerful statement of God’s character, authority, power, and wisdom!
God, who is spirit, created us in His image. Unlike earth’s other creatures, we are spiritual beings. He gave us earthly bodies in which to live and move, and then He handed us the gift of eternity –a soul to outlive the finite existence of our frail human frame.
Although He alone is sovereign, God chose to give us authority over the animals and over the earth we inhabit. Yes, we are ultimately under God’s authority, and yet we are His appointed rulers. It is our privilege and responsibility to be good caretakers of all He has entrusted to us, beginning with our own selves, our home and family, and extending beyond that to our community, our nation, and the world beyond.
The ability to gain knowledge, to think and to reason is a god-like attribute. He bestowed this ability only on human beings. Related to this is the ability to create. God, of course, can create from nothing, while we must have materials and resources, but He has put within us a portion of His own creative mindset, ability, and desire.
God, the three in One, also created us for fellowship. In this He is our ultimate example since, in Him, three distinct persons exist in perfect unity. He not only created man with the ability and innate need to enjoy fellowship with Him, but also with a yearning to be in fellowship with other human beings. He could have made us solitary and stoic, yet in His wisdom, He made us social, and therefore vulnerable.
Since God made us like Himself, only with skin on, we are reflectors of His image. Unlike God, humans are sinful and imperfect because of our fallen, sinful nature. Still, we often witness God’s character, His love and kindness, His mercy and grace, as demonstrated through people. He uses human hands, mouths, and feet, fueled by our human will and desire, to give others a glimpse of Himself. We have the ability through His enablement to make moral choices. When we allow Him to work through us we reflect His likeness, and bring honor and glory to Him.
I am so thankful that this verse makes it clear that neither men nor women have an advantage when it comes to being bearers of God’s image. Everything that makes us one or the other is a part of who God is, and is a further testimony to His diverse and complete nature.
So, I am God’s image bearer. How should this knowledge affect me practically and personally?
The thought is a sobering one, and should be the basis for every thought and action. Since I am created in God’s image, I am charged with responsibility. Others should see His image in me. The decisions I make each minute of every day will determine how much of God is revealed to them through me. Clearly, I need to be more intentional in reflecting God’s glory.
I am also responsible for seeing God's image in others. The fact that God created mankind in His image gives each human being intrinsic value -immeasurable worth. In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis states, "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal." Whether it is my precious infant granddaughter, or the filthy man standing in line behind me at the grocery store, every human life is created in the image of God. I need to seek God’s help in viewing others through His eyes. Then I will regard my fellow human beings with God’s love, grace, and mercy.
Yes, this verse that Joanne chose for today’s Monday Manna has a lot packed into it. I have barely begun to unpack it here. I look forward to reading others' take on this important verse. You can read them too, by visiting An Open Book and following links to other Monday Manna contributors.