My dear friends, I have a question for you and I ask it sincerely with my heart. What reaction do you have when you look at someone who is different than you? I am not talking about their style, their political views, or anything you see in their outward appearance. I am also not talking about if they are Christian or non-Christian. Instead, I am talking about the differences in their inner being, their character, personality and attitude towards things which happen in life. Let’s take a moment to think about this question deeply, “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, NIV)
What does God mean when He says, in His image He created us? Is God talking about our physical form? If you have ever thought that, then I suggest you read Genesis 2 about how God created Adam and Eve – the first male and female. Do not mistake and confuse His word, we must remember and know that God is Spirit (John 4:24)
God tells us, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground." (Genesis 1:26, NIV) His image means His likeness, we are created to be like Him, so that we may rule over His creation in the sky, on the ground and in the sea. (Genesis 1:28)
God created both male and female to be like Him, His character, His Holiness, His righteousness and to love like Him. Just as His Son, Jesus said to us, “Whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19b, NIV) We are created in God likeness, His image is still stored within us when we are born into this fallen world. The only difference is that we also now bear our sinful nature. Just like when black ink is dropped into water, it slowly turns all the water black. The water itself does not change, but it is polluted by the color and is no longer pure. That’s why the Apostle Paul said, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out.” (Romans 7:18, NIV) We may no longer find God’s likeness in our flesh but that doesn’t mean it does not exist in us. We still have the desire in us to do what is right and what is good, however, we cannot rely on our flesh to carry it out because whatever our flesh desires is contrary to what the spirit desires.
So, how can we find the beauty of God in mankind? When we no longer live according to the flesh but live in accordance with the Spirit (Romans 8). Then we no longer follow the pattern of this world but are transformed by the renewing of our mind and we will be able to test and approve the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2) We will begin to see His likeness in ourselves and in others, have the desire to love, hunger for justice, thirst for truth and experience the fullness of life. Even though some have eyes, they do not see. Some have ears, yet they do not hear and their hearts have become calloused. In their misunderstanding of what life is, they are still seeking and striving to build a good character, to have a lovely personality and to show a right attitude in life, but they can never find it without Christ. In this process of finding the answers of life, do we see ourselves and the others in the way that Jesus sees us - as God’s creations who He loves? Do we show mercy and compassion and understand what Jesus meant when he said, “…forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34b, NIV)