I was swinging that little 17 month old of ours outside one day last week and some interesting things came to my mind. You know how we have some great things about us and some not so great things about us? And you know how when we look at others we sometimes just see and focus on the negative and not the really great, positive things about them?
It’s pretty disheartening that we, that I, focus on the awful, different-from-us struggles, sins, and downfalls of others rather than the actually pretty cool, unique giftings of our friends, family, and acquaintances. We are really losing here when we do this and missing the whole point of HOW we were truly made.
So, here’s the real truth of the matter:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image,in the image of God He created him;male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
One huge note here is that in verse 26, God said, “let us make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness.” Who is He talking about? God in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That’s whose image we are made in. The wholeness that embodies God our Father, the humanity and uniqueness that Jesus possesses, and the vast fruits the Holy Spirit has… in all of this we were made.
Okay, wow. I think about my dearest friend who is so brilliant at creating things with her hands and so real about the right ways to love people the way Jesus does. And her husband who dreams up and catches a vision for anything, from creating a business to ways to evangelize different people groups and is so successful at many things he touches.
All of that, ALL of that points directly to who our God is. Just like the gifts my friends exemplify, God is creative and a seeker of man’s soul for salvation. God is the epitome of vision casting and vision accomplishing. When I see my friends natural gifts, I get a real, tangible picture of who our great Creator God is, who our precious Savior is, and who our Holy Spirit is.
Do you see what I am getting at? My mother is unbelievably gifted at serving others while pushing aside her needs. My mother-in-law is a true gift-giver, with this incredible knack of finding a great deal. These are God-given gifts, and they are visuals for the world’s eye to see just who our Great God is. Jesus laid down His life, while accomplishing eternal life for us. And God the Father gives us every good and perfect gift. He is prudent, planning for the future, just like the gift my mother-in-law possesses.
What about you? What about your neighbor? What about a co-worker? We have people in our lives who are difficult to understand, hard to work with. Goodness gracious alive, I am hard to understand and hard to work with, but even when I don’t think I have any good in me, I have to remember that I am made in God’s image. He made each of us with special, unique gifts that are from Him and that clearly point to who He is as our God.
Psalm 16:2 says, “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;I have no good apart from you.'” Nothing good in us is our own doing, our own gumption, our own passions alone. Everything you see that is good in others, it’s from God. Sure they may have worked hard for this or that, but God gave them the energy, the giftings, the desire to accomplish the goal.
Every person is made in God’s image. And He’s perfect. I am letting that sit on me for a minute. I do not deny our sinfulness. But this post isn’t to focus on that right now. I am overwhelmed as I look around me, at our children, our family, our friends, the people we see every day. God is so kind to show us who He is by the way He has made us and those in our lives and those in the whole wide world.
The God-shaped lens I ought to look through to see others is pretty magnificent. May I use it more every day to rejoice with others the gifts He has given them and to walk in thankfulness and praise for who the God we serve truly is.