“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
We are made in the image of God.
It’s the core of understanding our status as new creations.
That doesn’t mean God has two arms, two legs, and suffers from allergies in the spring.
Or that He needs to bathe regularly to keep from stinking.
Or that He has a face with eyes, nose, mouth, and ears that stick out a little too far from His head.
Bearing God’s image doesn’t mean we physically look like Him.
It goes much deeper than that.
The Hebrew language, constituting much of the Old Testament, contains three words describing how we are made in the image of God:
At our very core, we find ruwach – the Spirit of God. This is the same Spirit that hovered over the waters at creation. It’s the same Spirit God breathed into man in Genesis 2 to make him a living being. Ruwach is God’s spirit, his force, the essence of his power that He places in each and every one of us.
On top of ruwach, we find our neshama. This is the part of us that other people experience. It carries the soul of God, and where we experience joy, pain, excitement, anger, fear, happiness, sadness. Neshama is our emotions, our feelings, those aspects of our soul that interact with others.
The outer-most part of our being is our nephesh. This is the part of us that is most easily seen by others. It’s our physical self, our personality, how we react to the experiences around us. Nephesh is what we see when we look around a room of other people.
All three parts of who we are, ruwach, neshama, and nephesh, bear the image of God.
We carry His spirit.
Bear the root DNA of His soul.
And reflect His essential being.
It’s why we have the capacity to do good.
Are moved when we see suffering.
And experience both good and bad emotions.
We are created in the image of God.
Your neighbor, friend, family members are made in the image of God.
They bully down the street is made in the image of God.
The prostitute, drug addict, thief, are all made in the image of God.
We just don’t always live out that image.
When we understand the image we carry, when we fully recognize our core being reflects our Creator, it changes how we see ourselves.
So, my brothers and sisters, as you wrestle with your identity as a new creation, may you be reminded in whose image you were made. May you begin to see the fingerprints of God all throughout your being. And may you, as you see yourself for who God made you, begin to understand what it means that you are made to bear God’s image.
How do you bear the image of God in your life?