So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God created birds by speaking them into existence. The same is true for the sky, the land, the waters, fish, reptiles, butterflies, and everything else…except for mankind. Human beings were the pinnacle of God’s Creation, made in His image and given life by His breath, then given dominion over all that had been created.
Men and woman are the only created beings made in God’s image.
What a mystery! What a wonder! But what does it mean? Why does it matter? How does this reality impact our lives? How would a deeper understanding of this truth affect our decision-making and influence our interactions with each other?
I’ve been reflecting on these, and other, questions recently, and I’m going to take the next few posts to start answering them.
Three fundamental characteristics come to mind when I reflect on our being made in God’s image. Each of these characteristics is true of God, and so–as image-bearers of Him–we possess them as well.
- The ability to think. No other created being has such a capacity for high-level thinking as human beings. Dolphins are plenty smart, but their intellection is nothing compared to humans’…because ours is a reflection of God’s own capacity for understanding.
- The ability to create. Ant hills and beaver dams and social communities are stunning examples of creative capacity in lower forms of creation. But skyscrapers, artificial hearts, microprocessors, and rocket ships–for example–are exponentially more advanced. And think: these are merely a pale glimpse of God’s own creative ability.
- The ability to heal. Physicians heal bodies, pastors heal souls, and counselors heal minds. All of this healing agency is a result of our Image-ness. Human beings have the ability to heal because we are made in the image of the Lord who heals, Jehovah Rapha.
Are we reflecting God as we think?
Are we emulating God as we create?
Are we imaging God as we heal?
How are we stewarding the Image?