Okay, bear with me. This post is starting off kinda nerdy, but it’s important! I don’t want you to miss this, so stick with it (:
“Imago Dei” is Latin term that is used in theology (the study of God) and it directly translates to “Image of God”. This phrase comes from the book of Genesis in the Bible. God had just finished creating everything in existence, and he decided to create humankind.
“God said ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness'” Genesis 1:26
(bonus Bible nerd comment: The words “us” and “our” are used in this passage to reference the trinity- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who are one God- woah!!)
“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
God created human beings very uniquely because He created them in His image. He didn’t create the animals or anything else in nature to be in His image. This is unique to people – God’s most prized creation – aka YOU!
Being made in the imago dei means that we have special qualities that reflect the character and nature of God. We are able to think, communicate, understand right from wrong, make decisions, be creative, be self-aware and experience deep, meaningful relationships with one another. These are all qualities that set us apart because we bear God’s image.
He made us to be like a mirror, reflecting some of His attributes. This does not in any way make us “God” as well. God’s character and nature is BIG. He has existed in eternity past, present, and future. His perfection, holiness, and glory is far greater than anything we could imagine. I count it a high honor that He would choose to create us in his image, making us a small reflection of His grand character and nature.
Okay, thanks for sticking with me through the nerdy Bible stuff! I believe that as Christians it’s important for us to study the Bible and theology in addition to learning to live by it! So, I pray that you were encouraged by that, and now you can say you know a little bit of Latin (;
Last week I was flying home from California with tears in my eyes because I had to say yet another hard goodbye. I had spent two weeks prior to that in the East San Francisco Bay Area with my friends from school. We have been doing school online, anxiously waiting for the day we can go back to our college campus again. In the meantime, I decided to visit my friends in the Bay for two weeks, and oh my goodness it was SO MUCH FUN! We did school together, played games, ate meals together, dyed our hair, went to the beach, watched movies, and talked for hours on end! These are the kind of people that make saying goodbye extra painful. I think Winnie the Pooh put it best: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”.
On my plane ride back home at the end of my trip, I spent most of my time praying and journalling. As I spent time with the Lord, I thanked Him for each of my friends and I began to see the imago dei in each of them. God’s character was on display in the life of my friends, and I couldn’t help but praise the Lord for it!
Here’s what I saw…
– I saw the Lord as my rock and my safe place of refuge because I have a friend who has remained steady and allowed me to safely confide in her
– I saw how deeply the Lord cares for me (even in the small things) because I have a friend who is always checking in on me and taking care of me
– I saw the consistency and welcoming nature of God, because I have a friend who allows me to be totally transparent and he receives the best and the worst of me with love and grace
– I saw God’s strength and His gentleness working together because I have a friend who is very genuine and he guides me in wisdom that is rooted in love
– I saw God’s intentional, direct, and careful in His pursuit of me, because I have a friend who’s willing to ask the hard questions, listen to me carefully, and respond with thoughtfulness and care
The Lord is so kind to reveal aspects of Himself through His people. All people are made in God’s image. We’re able to see it in the way we communicate, create, think, etc. Christians, however, reflect God in an even more unique way because Christians are slowly being sanctified (which means becoming more like Christ). Through sanctification, we are going to reflect God in more ways than we did previously because we are seeking to become more like Him.
So, friend, I encourage you to look out for the imago dei in the people around you. How do you see God’s character and His nature in your relationships? When you notice these things, make sure to give credit where credit is due. Romans 1:25 warns us not to worship the creation over the Creator. So, praise the Lord for how you see Him in the life of your friends, family, coworkers, etc.! I pray that you are able to see the grandness of God’s character through a glimpse of who He is in the imago dei.
You are so loved <3