In the account of God creating humanity, it states…
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27
Often this is misinterpreted in a way which leads people to believe that we have the same physical appearance as God. Since we all look different from one another, I am not sure how this could ever have been viewed as an accurate interpretation. I think that a more accurate interpretation is that we reflect God’s love, attitude, and actions.
Last week I was sitting beside some water. As I looked at the water, I was entranced by the various objects which I saw reflected in the water. In addition to the sky and the clouds moving across the sky, I saw birds as they flew overhead. I even watched a leaf as it floated down across the water. These observations lead me to consider how I reflect God.
Jesus tells us of the importance of our actions pointing others to God when he says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Here Jesus is telling those who listen that our love, actions, and attitude reflect on who God is and lead them to praise God.
We reflect the image of God, the image in which we are created, when we express love to one another. The image of God is seen in us when we show compassion by assisting those who are struggling, are alone, are rejected. God’s image shines out of us when we offer grace to those who have wronged us in some way and extend forgiveness even when the person does not see a need to be forgiven. We reflect God’s image when we reach out to the lonely, the abandoned, the ignored, the abused.
When we do not show others love through our actions and attitudes, we hide the image of God inside ourselves. It is as if we place a veil or a cover over that image, just as Jesus refers to in the passage from Matthew 5 which I mentioned previously. Instead of reflecting God, we put forth our own self-centered image with all its flaws and brokenness. God’s image of love, grace, and compassion is not allowed to positively impact others through us.
How have you reflected God today? In what ways can you reflect God tomorrow? Why wait?