Parents talk about their kids. They talk about how the child looks just like his father. He acts just like his grandfather. He walks like all the other men in the family. He’s as stubborn as his mother. He’s made in their image, because he has their DNA. They say this child of theirs is the spitting image of someone they dearly love. And they’re proud. They’re proud to see that the family genes show strong in the next generation. They’re happy the similarities are plainly obvious. They’re quick to point it out to anyone who will listen.
Who wouldn’t be proud? Who doesn’t want the strength of a gene pool to shine through in the upcoming generations?
I’ve been reading lately about how I’m made in the image of God. I come from a strong gene pool of spiritual perfection. I mean. How do you top that? But here’s the thing. You’re made in God’s image, too. Every single human being is made in the image of God. There’s no way around it. And we don’t have a choice.
Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. Genesis 1:26
So what does that really mean?
When we were being formed in our mother’s womb, God was there. He was knitting us together in that nine month period. He planned the number of our days. He knew the course of our lives. From the moment of conception, he knew us. And he never forgets us. Just as God values each human life he creates, we too must value life. God made each of us unique and to fulfill a specific role on this earth. He created us with special gifts and talents that suit our personalities. He made our bodies to be complex, but each part works in sync with the next. Each organ and muscle, bone and ligament are needed. Our brains and each heartbeat are necessary for life to continue. Even those who are born with bodies that don’t work as planned or with minds that aren’t whole are designed by God for a special purpose. He knows and loves each and every one of us.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalms 139:13-16
God created us with a soul that communes with him. He knows our every thought and desire. He knows our dreams and plans. He knows when we want to please him and when we refuse to acknowledge his existence. God created our soul to live with him in eternity. But he gave us a mind and a will, so we can choose to live for or against him.
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
Oh. We can choose to ignore that we’re made in God’s image. People do that all the time. They decide to live in a way that dishonors him. They choose to make decisions that leave him out of their lives. They live as if they are God. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are made in his image. They too will stand in front of him one day and give an account of those decisions they’ve made.
God has invisible qualities. He can’t be seen with the human eye. But we can see evidence of him and his handiwork. His eternal power and divine character are known. But people choose not to believe. They choose not to know God.
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Romans 1:20
Just as God rules over mankind, he made us to rule over the earth. We are to rule over every living creature. We have that God-given authority. There’s no need to abuse it, as some are in the habit of doing. We must be faithful in the work that we do. He created us with minds to think and plan and create. So let’s use those minds for good and not for evil.
To be made in God’s image means that I’m made to represent him. I must be willing to live within the limits that God placed on me, because He is God and I am not. I must do my work with excellence. In everything I do and say, I am representing Christ.
So, I have to ask myself. If I’m the spitting image of God, how well do I represent him? Do others see him in me? Am I an embarrassment or a joy? When others see me, do they see him? When I think of the words I’ve said today, are they words that Jesus would say? Has my attitude in the past day been the attitude of Jesus Christ? If I’ve misrepresented God, what must I do to become more like him?