So here’s the interactive instruction: Go look in the mirror. What do you see? In my case I see the image of a 35 year old man who needs a shave. What do you see? Unless you’re a vampire you should see a reflection of yourself. The mirror shows us an “image” of ourselves. What we see is not necessarily us, but it’s an image, a reflection of who we are. What do you say an image is, Mr. Webster?
Mr. Webster: An “image” is “a reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing.”
Me: Thank you, Mr. Webster. Good answer.
Mr. Webster: You’re welcome. I thought so too.
In Genesis 1:26-27, God says he made man in his own image. The word “image” is used three times. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…so God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Hmm, I’m not sure, but methinks this image concept is important.
Just as the mirror shows your image, humans reveal the image, or likeness, of God. Whoa baby! This sounds deep. You’re right. Humans are the only creatures who bear the image of God. God made a whole bunch of other stuff before he shared his likeness with anything. Raccoons have really cool faces, but they don’t have God’s image. Bananas are tasty and monkey’s like them, but they don’t have God’s image. Lions are the king of the jungle, but they don’t share God’s image, (except Aslan). Only men and women share the image of God. We are unique in all of creation as image bearers.
So what does this mean? It means you and I have incredible significance and value. It doesn’t matter whether our “image” in the mirror shows a few too many pounds, too many gray hairs, or no hair whatsoever, (I’m thinking of you, grandpa). It doesn’t matter if the image shows a person with special needs, debilitating illnesses, or old age, (grandpa again!). Each of us bears the likeness of God. We are each unique, special, and singular beings in the created world. Just as a piece of money has value because it’s stamped with the image of a president, so a human being has value because it’s stamped with the image of the Almighty.
The truth of our “image” should affect how we treat one another. Every person, no matter sex, age, nationality, or race is worthy of dignity and value, because every person bears the stamp of the divine upon them. We should treat people with respect, irregardless of their intellect, appearance, or size of their wallet. (This is a rather good thing for me, as my wallet is quite thin).
So what does this mean for you? Have you considered yourself as an image bearer of God? Do you realize you are significant and sacred, regardless of what your mirror may say about you? Do you realize others are worthy of dignity and respect because they are stamped with the Almighty’s likeness?
Congratulations for participating! You win a bag of Doritos. I’ll give it to you the next time we meet. Ha ha.