IMAGE IS EVERYTHING.
Imagine what it would feel like if your town erected a statue of you in the middle of the town square or in front of city hall, then used your statue as a target, throwing rotten tomatoes and apples at your image!
Imagine what it would feel like to be the president of your own company, with a huge oil painting of yourself hanging in the company's fancy lobby-and then to discover that someone had drawn a silly mustache on your face in the painting!
Imagine what it would feel like if your picture were printed in People magazine's annual "Fifty Most Beautiful People" issue; but, when you went to the store to buy as many copies as you could, you discovered that someone had gone through every single issue and written in bold, black marker, "This is an ugly picture!" across your photo.
How would such things make you feel? Sad? Angry? Hurt?
But now, wait a minute. Remember that those people aren't attacking you-they're only attacking your image. The statue, the painting, the photo-those were just things that were made in your image, right? But it would still hurt, wouldn't it? When someone attacks, insults, or disrespects something made in your image, it's just like they were doing it to you, right?
Well, then, if you can understand that, imagine how God feels when people attack, insult, or disrespect other people. After all, every human being in the world is made in God's image. Every man and woman has been created in the image of God. So don't you think it makes God sad, angry, or hurt when we don't respect others who bear his image?
You see, that's why respect is right and disrespect is wrong-because we were all made in the image of God. Every human being is made in God's image, whether he or she is old or young, dark-skinned or light-skinned, male or female, able or disabled, sick or well, cool or uncool. Every human being is valuable in God's eyes. And every human being deserves to be respected as a unique and valuable child of God.
REFLECT: What does today's Bible reading say about human beings? Why is respect for others right? Do you know any person who isn't made in the image of God? Do you know any person who doesn't deserve to be respected as a unique and valuable child of God? Do you think you can respect a person without agreeing with his or her behavior? If so, how? How can you show respect for every human being you meet today?
PRAY: "God, thank you for reminding me that I am made in your image, just like everybody else in the world. Help me to respect and treat other people the way I should."