Imagine God on the sixth day of creation, surveying the work he’s accomplished.
Craggy mountain peaks reach upward toward cerulean skies.
Undulating oceans teem with thousands of different kinds of fish and sea creatures—from protozoa to humpback whales.
Flat lands and rolling hills, some covered with grass, others with trees, also abound with life—from pixie cups that can only hold one drop of water…
…to elephants that can drink 80 gallons per day.
“And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25).
But he wasn’t finished yet. God created one more being capable of deep thought, complex interaction, and an array of emotions. He called the creature “man” (vs. 26-27).
And the Lord Most High endowed man with abilities similar to his own. For example:
- God is creative; people have the ability to produce new works and ideas.
- God is linguistic; people can communicate with words.
- God is logical; people are capable of reason.
- God is interpersonal; people have the capacity to develop relationships.
- God is wise; people can develop wisdom.
- God is gracious and compassionate; people are capable of responding to one another with patience, kindness, and encouragement.
Just like our Father, each of us is (to some degree) capable of all these abilities. We can creatively solve problems, retell events, weigh the pros and cons of a decision, make friends, choose wisely from the grocery store shelves, offer a compliment.
But evidence would indicate God chose to endow each of us further, with a particular intelligence in which to excel. Our own family includes:
- Two creatives—an artist and a graphic designer
- Two linguistics—both pastors
- One logistic—a tech support manager
- Three interpersonal types—a teacher, school psychologist, and psychiatric/family doctor
Each person also has secondary and even tertiary strengths, in various combinations.
Yet God didn’t stop there. In his image he made us spiritual beings as well. Within each person is an invisible, eternal soul, a place where we can experience his presence (Ephesians 3:16-19). And he gave us a conscience to know right from wrong—not to spoil our enjoyment of life but to enhance it (Psalm 128:1-2).
As wondrous as all these gifts are—individually designed strengths, eternal souls, and the compass of a conscience–God chose to bequeath us with one more extraordinary privilege. He made us to be reflections of his glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
God chose not to confine his grandeur to the throne room of heaven. He allows us to make his radiant image visible in the world, as we reflect his multi-faceted goodness. No other creature was given such honor.
King David experienced the wonder. He marveled that God made us just a little lower than the angels and—get this—crowned us with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5).
Think of it: The God of all glory who deserves all honor desires to share his magnificence in the world through us.
Just this week, I glimpsed the image of God as:
- Steve thoughtfully brought me a cup of fresh coffee—as he often does.
- Trelene kindly gave us a book she thought we’d enjoy.
- Micki shared her wisdom.
- Cheri offered a word of encouragement.
- Four-year old Elena gifted us with a sample of her artwork—accompanied by hugs.
In such ways, God’s loving kindness, wisdom, inspiration, creativity, and affection are made visible. How dark our world would be without the sparkling splendor of God’s perfections reflected through his people.
So take note:
You are irreplaceable.
No one has your particular set of gifts, strengths and traits.
God designed you specifically
to achieve pre-designed purpose (Ephesians 2:10)—
just the way you are,
in the glorious image of God.
What God-given attributes do you see among your family members? Where have you glimpsed the glorious image of God this week?
(Art & photo credits: www.commons.wikimedia.org; http://www.en.wikipedia.org; http://www.mnn.com (Leonard Turner); http://www.mybible.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.freestockphotos.biz.; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.believers4ever.com; Nancy Ruegg.)