What could it mean to be made in the image of God? Thinkers and theologians have wrestled with this question for centuries.
Here’s a small example. Though I love my children equally, I have a unique relationship with my son Seth. In many ways—body build, attitude, humor, and appearance—Seth captures my essence in his smaller form. Sometimes I can almost read his thoughts. You could say that he bears my image.
So it is between God and human beings. We bear his image in our smaller frames. Internally we resemble him because we have a spirit and God is spirit. We’re more than mere physical beings. This spiritual element (or soul, if you prefer) may be invisible, but it exists nonetheless.
Externally we bear God’s image because of our capacity to experience relationships. That reflects God’s own desire to be in relationship with us. We have a built-in need and desire to relate to God and other humans because we were created in his image. That’s what allows us to enjoy intimacy with him.
Many people wonder whether Adam and Eve were the only people God directly created. In later chapters of the Bible, their descendants went off and met other people east of Eden. Where did these people come from?
All history is selective. No history book in the world could possibly record every event surrounding a given historical occurrence. Likewise, the Bible is selective. But we trust that even though its content is selective, it’s also significant. God shared the people and events that would lead us to a better understanding of him.
Genesis 1 reveals two essential truths about who you are. First, you are not an accident. You are not the result of cosmic chance; you’re an intentional and individual creation of God. Second, God created you as an act of love. God is far from indifferent when it concerns you.
We share ourselves with only those we care about. Just as we share ourselves with only those we care about, God shared the best part of himself with you and me. Nothing else in all creation can make this claim.
So relish this life, knowing that when God sees you, he can’t help but see a reflection and resemblance of himself.
Acknowledging God as creator is a simple and sure way to remove the weight of stress from our lives. We’re made according to God’s design. And our designer has given us a destiny! Fulfilling that destiny is a matter of putting all of life and our future into his hands. We aren’t expected to handle life on our own; we are God’s responsibility.
What one action or attitude can you change today that will help you better reflect the image of God—your true identity.