Imago Dei

21 Jan

“Oh, yes. We take shortcuts in getting to know others and sum them up in ten words or less. And we do that to people made in God’s image. What smugness we exhibit.”

The above was an update I posted on Facebook several days ago.  I truly believe that.  Almost all of us have to work hard to realize that other humans are just as complex as we are.  

I see dismissive Facebook posts all of the time.  Posts that sum up an entire viewpoint in one dismissive sound byte.  

Even posts that sum up an entire group of people (all teenagers, dieters, drinkers, non-drinkers, etc.) in one dismissive sound byte.

Thing is, we all have a story.  And, most importantly of all, we are all God’s image bearers.  

Our church has often taught that principle.  No matter how fallen, each person bears somewhere in his soul the mark of his Creator.  Even the alcoholic, on his deathbed, lying with a swollen, distended abdomen amidst his own waste in his apartment (that image is courtesy of a friend who once watched her sister die that way) is an image-bearer of God’s holy image somewhere in his being.  

I know some churches teach that, since the Fall, we are created in the image of Adam, not in the image of God.  I don’t see that in Scripture anywhere and no one has been able to point me to anything confirming that view.

I think that view makes it easier for people to be dismissive of their fellow humans.  Like Pharisees, they can just cross the road when they see an alcoholic dying, saying, in exactly five words, “He brought it on himself,” then forgetting about this person who needs Jesus.

I pray in this New Year we may realize that others have stories and dreams and souls and that we may reach out to them.  I pray we may care that they might perish without our Saviour.  

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