By Mason Campbell, Guest Writer
November 20, 2022
“Then God said, ‘Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26
Imagine that you are cruising down Pine Street one Friday afternoon. It’s a clear and sunny day, so you roll your windows down to take it all in. Suddenly, a car zooms past you, blaring its horn as it speeds past at 90 miles per hour. When this happens, you might react with anger or shock, but you probably wouldn’t turn on a siren, chase the car down, and pull it over. Why not? Because you are not a police officer; that isn’t your identity. Since you are a pedestrian, you would most likely feel upset for a moment and complain to someone later about the audacity of the driver.
Every action that we take in life has a sense of identity behind it. Because of this, how we see ourselves matters. The basic definition of identity is “the qualities that make you who you are.” If identity is what makes you “you”, and it drives everything that you do, then it is incredibly important that you understand where you find your identity. So, who are you? What makes “you” uniquely you? There are a lot of things in this world that we find our identity in: accomplishments, possessions, other people’s approval… the list goes on. All these things, however, give us a distorted view of our identity. This in turn gives us a broken view of God and the people around us. To understand who we are and where we should find our identity, we need to understand whom God created us to be.
In Genesis 1:26, we see that humans were the only part of God’s creation made “in his image.” This is clearly significant, but what does it mean? To be made in the image of God means that we reflect certain qualities of God. Human beings were created to be a picture of what God is like – we are to be God’s representatives here on earth. Because we are created in the image of God, we are given the ability to both serve on God’s behalf and be like him. That is what it means to be human – to be image-bearers of God who reflect him by the way we live. For us to know how to reflect God, we need to look at the example of the only person who lived a fully human life, just as God intended.
Christ lived the life that we were created to live to fulfillment. For us to fulfill our purpose as image-bearers of God and live as he intended, we must identify with Christ. 1 John 2:6 tells us how to do this: “This is how we know we are in Christ: The one who says they remain in him should walk just as Jesus walked.” Jesus Christ was the perfect image of God, and our purpose in life is to reflect him to others. When we walk with Christ, we put our old selves to death and reflect Jesus daily through the way we live. Because you bear the image of God, you are valuable. Your life has purpose, and that purpose is found in the person of Jesus Christ.