In my quiet time this morning, I was once again reminded of an incredible truth – we are created in the image of God. “So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.” (Genesis 1:27)
That image has surely been marred by the fall, but it has not been erased. As some have said, we bear the thumbprint of God. Our sense of identity and worth is found in the fact that we are made in God’s image. When we base our self-worth in what we achieve, our status, what others say about us, or what we see in the mirror, we deceive ourselves. Our worth is found in none of those things nor a myriad of others like them. You have worth, value, and meaning because you are made in the image of God.
It is true that our lives drift far away from that image. Sometimes we look far more like the world than our Father. You cannot open a newspaper or turn on the TV news without seeing just have far we are from rightly reflecting God’s character. It is for this reason that Jesus came – to restore what was broken – to make right what was made terribly wrong. We most reflect the image of God when we express our love to Him in our personal and corporate worship and surrender our wills to His in our daily living. We do not do this to be noticed by people (though that will happen); rather we do it as a response to God’s image in us and God’s act toward us in sending His Son to die for our sins.
How does this recognition of being created in the image of God work itself out in daily life?
First, when we accept the truth that we are made in the image of God we become uncomfortable knowing that image is distorted and broken. The Holy Spirit prompts us to want to have that image restored, thus He draws us to Jesus.
Second, when we accept this truth we begin to see ourselves differently. Our worth is not measured in what we do. What others say about us becomes less important (thought admittedly it still stings). Even when we stumble headlong into sin we do not see our plight as hopeless, rather we are eager to confess our sins and find cleansing.
Third, when we accept this truth we begin to see others differently. They are not merely obstacles in our way as we go from point A to point B. They are not simply rude or angry or kind or sweet. They are people created in the image of God! Their dignity is not derived from their human ancestry but from the One who created them. Despite their failings they are precious in the sight of God and, therefore, should also be in our sight.
We can easily read over Genesis 1:27 without giving it much thought, but it is worth a pause for reflection. Who you are is very much tied up in that simple but profound verse. You and I were made in the image of God!