Seeing isn’t believing; believing is seeing. Genesis 1:27 begins, “So God created mankind in his own image…” The word “image” often prompts thoughts of sight, a reflection of what we can see, what something physically looks like. Image, though, is multi-sensory, and, as is with God, extra-sensory.
Look at Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they my rule over this fish in the sea and the birds in the sky…” Why did God create us in his likeness? “…so that they may rule over…” God gives us a definite, specific reason. God has created us with the capacity to rule. What is it that we need to rule? Compassion. Love. Forgiveness. Understanding. Empathy. Insight. Wisdom. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. That is the image of God! Yes, the Fruits of the Holy Spirit!
Possession of these fruits and the manifested behaviors of these fruits is what I mean by “extra-sensory.” We need to see all that to “rule” over his creation, so he made us in his image in order for us to do just that. In Genesis 1:26, God tells us what he plans to do. In Genesis 1:27, he tells us what he did. He made mankind in his image – that is so important that it is repeated: “…in the image of God he created them…,” followed by the independent clause, “…male and female he created them.” It seems God’s image is more about the substance of our “selves” and, while still very important, less about physical form. We all need to aspire to living our lives as God’s image.
Believing is seeing. Unfortunately, too many do see their capacity and end up leading lives, leading communities, leading corporations, leading countries in ways that destroy God’s creation.