Our Soul: An Imitation of God!
In Genesis, when God said “let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” there was a very profound proclamation coming from the Creator of everything to the humbling essence of himself. (Gn 1: 26).
In the very significance of God who desires man to worship him and become one with him would create within the human spirit a part of himself, called a soul. The soul that we have became the life of God’s presence that was on loan until we breathed our last.
Biologically we are a collection of flesh and bones, muscle and sinews, and a heart that beats more times than we can imagine. As blood surges throughout this maze of humanity we realize it was possible only through the grace of God’s love for the receptacle his essence would dwell within.
It may appear to some that this statement places us on a level with God and not in a subservient manner as mortals. However, with the words of the Trinity agreeing in concert to man being made in their image, after their likeness, says more than just a proclamation at creation. It is the very understanding of the Incarnation when the divine took on humanity and Jesus became the “hypo-static union” that would complete the meaning of his image and likeness.
So, without raising humanity as a parallel to God, and lowering the divine to mortal man, we see a unifying blessing that becomes the very essence of God’s relationship with his creature. Man. Ponder the possibility of a creator making an item that is more than a shelf article to be adored and copied without success. God’s endless divinity is beyond human understanding, yet he lowered his Omnipotence just enough to become one with us by giving a soul to each one. It is this perfect entity that makes us just like God (in his likeness). We do not become divine; only God alone is divine. But, we absorb a true likeness to God through grace and the temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells within our souls.
Consider the statement Jesus made when he told his listeners; “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your you enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5: 42 - 48),
The message to be taken here is if our soul is God’s essence within, when we attack another person, physically or spiritually, we are attacking God himself. Our souls and the souls of everyone else has a deep affiliation with God that is an imitation of the divine presence.
Ralph B. Hathaway