It is not uncommon for the features of a newborn baby to be scrutinized by the family.
“The baby has daddy’s eyes.” “This child has the family chin.” “Look at those ears, just like Uncle Joe’s!:
We see ourselves in our children. There is something about this beauty that brings love, comfort, and hope for a bright future.
The creation story in scripture states, “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). Does this mean that we look like God? Would you have the family chin of God? What about His eyes? Would you have His eyes?
Actually, God is spirit as declared by John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Over time, we have seen so many depictions of what God may look like that we tend to put Him inside a human body so He looks more like us. However, if we are made in His image and He is a spirit, what would that look like?
First, we must come to grips with the reality that we are more than just our physical bodies. We have a spirit within our bodies. Who we are is not the bodies we carry around but rather a spirit that is within us.
In this way, we are in the image of God. He is spirit and the essence of us is spirit as well.
I have heard this explained as we are not human beings having a spiritual experience but rather we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Second, God exists in a relationship often called the Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are of the same Spirit but are distinct personalities living in perfect union and relation with one another.
As we carry the image of God, we too are called to be in relationships. It has been said man is not meant to be alone.
So it was in the Garden of Eden, upon creating man, God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. He created Eve to be in relationship with Adam. To be the image of God, it is necessary for us to be in relationship with others and with God.
Last, the image of God grants us the capacity to reflect Him to the world around us. We are ambassadors to those who have never seen God’s image within themselves.
Often the image of God is like a mirror that reflects His grace and mercy to others. All our mirrors are flawed because of sin in ourselves. Thus, broken mirrors do not wholly reflect the image of God to others.
The good news is our image of God is being restored through Jesus. As we love God, our mirror mends. As we love our neighbors, our mirror is polished.
Ultimately, we will be fully restored without blemishes before God when everything is made new again. When God looks at us and sees Himself.
Until then, we have a job to do with God’s image. We should allow Jesus to wash us and heal us through his Holy Word. Then our broken selves will begin to reflect more of the Lord and less of ourselves.