“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
We are created in the very image of God. The animals cannot say this. The mountains cannot say this. Even the glorious angels cannot say this. Think about that! God is telling us that humanity – you, me and every other person with whom we share this world – is more like God than we are like the rest of the created order.
The creation story informs us that we are like God, but at the same time, we are not God! We did not make ourselves or create the world. We do not control our own destinies. We do not direct the motions of the earth. We are limited as parts of creation. But we are not insignificant.
More than anything, we are the image of God. On this, Francis Schaeffer correctly notes, “For the [post-modern] man, this phrase, image of God, is as important as anything in Scripture, because men can no longer answer that crucial question, ‘Who am I?’” He concludes, “If anything is a gift of God, this is it – knowing who you are!” Indeed it is. It is a question artists such as Gauguin and Van Gogh, scientists such as Bill Nye and Stephen Hawking, and philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, and so many others have painfully wrestled with and have found no reliable answers. And yet, God has clearly revealed the answer in His word.
Because of this divine revelation, we should see every person – no matter their gender, race, ability or appearance – as a reflection of God’s image. All are worthy of respect and dignity, love and compassion, belonging and significance.
We are made in His image. This is a gift from God.