I came across some old pictures of my nieces and nephew. They were ones when my sister’s youngest was five or six. I remember showing them to people and having them proclaim, “She looks so much like you!” That shouldn’t be a surprise as we are identical twins. But I remember liking the fact that people could see me in her.
It seems a pretty common thing for new parents, relatives, and friends to look at a baby and say, “She’s got your eyes” or “He has his father’s chin.” As the child gets older, people might say, “She has her mother’s stubborn streak” or “His father’s sense of humor.”
Just recognizing how thrilled I was to have people say she looked like me makes me wonder how thrilled God is when we look like Him.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV) says,
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
So from the very beginning we were created in God’s image. We were created to look like God. While I don’t claim to understand what “looking like God” means, I do think it means we were created to reflect his character.
And then it happened.
While Adam and Eve were still created in God’s image, they also, in a spiritual and relational sense, looked a little less like Him.
It is sort of like a copy. If you have an original from which to make a copy, things will look pretty good. However, if you lose the original and make more copies, those copies may be a bit more marred. There may be a stray line, an ink smudge, or things may start to be cockeyed. The intent of the original may be there, but the more removed from the original the copy, the messier the copy is likely to be.
So, the further away man and woman got away from God, the less like Him they were likely to “look.”
I once heard that Eden was what was intended. Ever since the fall, we have been trying to work our way back there. Romans 8:28-30 (NIV) seems to confirm this:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
I love several things about this passage. First, we can rest in the fact that no matter what our life circumstances are, God is working for our good if we love Him. Second, for those of us who are still wondering what we want to be when we grow up, we can know that God has called us to his purpose. Third, God has called us to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus. This may not be an easy process. There may be rough edges to be sanded down or there may be major renovations that need to take place in our hearts, but God is at work in us.
Lastly, we will share in his glory. This isn’t comforting for the sake of glory, rather it is comforting in knowing that in the end we will share in God’s glory as someone near and dear to His heart. It’s the closeness that is implied that thrills me.
Look in the mirror.
Do your eyes see with compassion and truth?
Do your ears hear the cries of the helpless? Do your lips sing his praises?
Does your mouth speak truth in love?
Are your feet quick to take you where you can help?
Do your arms lend strength in physical projects or hug the weary?
Do your hands reflect the sacrifice of the cross in the big moments and in the smaller day to day things?
Do people look at your life and see God reflected there? None of us are perfect, but we can pray that day by day we will have God’s heart more and more and people will say, “She’s just like her Father.”