Created in the Image of Who?

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She looked at herself in the mirror.

"What do you see?"

It’s an exercise carried out at the School of Ministry during Identity week. We all stand before our reflection and see our ugliness, fear, inability; we see someone who’s hiding, we see pain, we see embarrassment. Some announce their dislike of themselves in front of their peers through blurry, tear-filled eyes. Once the agonising exercise is finished, and we have uttered our final derogatory blow, soaked in self-hatred, we join the other in front of the mirror, stare into their eyes, and tell them what we see. We see kindness, we see beauty, selflessness, talent, bravery, godliness; we see excellence. In chorus we harmonize our love for the individual, whose slumped spine becomes a little straighter.

But this one girl was different. She looked at her herself in the mirror, we asked "What do you see?" I inhaled awaiting the pain that was about to commence but instead she smiled. The girl smiled, looked at her face and said "I know I’m gorgeous…and I love my hair."

When a child see’s herself in the mirror for the first time what does she see? She might not be able to put her thoughts into words quite like we can but her actions are just as loud as words. She might stare in awe and reach out a chubby finger to poke the glass. She might toddle up and plant a sloppy, wet kiss onto her reflected cheek. It’s safe to say she won’t see what you or I might see when we look in the mirror. She’ll look past the snotty nose and dribble stained t-shirt, she might not even realise it’s her own reflection and yet she’s captivated; more and more I am reminded of why God calls us to be child-like.

What does it mean to know that you’re beautiful and to truly understand your worth? We’re created in God’s image right? It’s right there in the Bible ‘God created man in his own image’ (NLT Gen 1:27). Do you know that? I've been pondering this all week, in discussing with my classmates at the SOM Advance Module. We arrived at these conclusions; being made in the image of God means: 

  1. We’re a reflection of God
  2. It means that we’re not actually God
  3. It means we’re significant and precious. 

So what are the implications and ramifications for these 3 things?

We’re not God. We are so incredibly limited and small compared to Him. And yet we have the potential to be like Him. We can be as kind, as creative, as loving, as selfless; we have these attributes because we’re made in His image.

And we are all made in His image, not just the chosen few, all of mankind. So then I guess it also means that even that person you see throwing up on the sidewalk because they’ve had way too much to drink is a reflection of God; that model walking down the catwalk, who’s struggling with her self-esteem because it’s her profession to think about her looks every day, she’s a reflection of God too.

How different would we treat ourselves and those around us if we walked in the knowledge that we are created in God’s own image? We were designed to be so intrinsically like God! This next season my prayer is to have this revelation tattooed on my soul, impressed into my being. 

Sadly not everyone looks to understand this truth, some would rather wallow in ungodly beliefs and lies that they’re ugly, not worth anything. What are we, the carriers of the Truth, going to do about it?