Reflect on your friends as created in God’s image. How does that perception change your attitude and behaviour toward them?
When I think of humanity as created in God’s image I imagine a great expanse of faces turned upwards reflecting individual pixels of glory. There’s not a face depicted in the reflection, instead it is a beautiful, colourful, glittering sea. Zoom in 1000x into the circle of friends I roll with, and it is still beautiful, but much messier. You see that we’ve got rough edges, we jostle one another and sometimes sparks fly. If I were to truly keep in mind the understanding that my friends were created in God’s image, I think I would have greater patience, respect, and awe of them. God is looking out for them, his love burns brightly for them, they are his. I need to get in line with that – too often I find myself thinking I’m the only one that cares. How blasphemous.
Go through the relationships in your life. Family…created in God’s image. Or co-workers…created in God’s image. Is it true that those closest to you are the hardest to perceive as created in God’s image?
Those closest to me are the one’s that hurt me the most. In my pain it’s easy to forget about God’s role in each of our lives. It’s easy to forget that we’re both forgiven by God, easy to forget God’s claim on our lives, and that we’re his servants when we get all caught up in our selves… it’s much easier just to hurt them back, or to withdraw and build walls.
What obstacles keep you from seeing them as a divine image-bearer?
It’s our sin. It’s when they put themselves first, or when I put myself first. When we don’t get our own way. When it’s all about us, you don’t see God, you just see the person, in all their self-serving glory. Pride. Lust. Jealousy. Unrighteous anger…
when they don’t communicate and you feel so powerless to change things
I suppose is also when you forget who we are to ultimately trust and rely on.