What do you think "made in the image of God" means?


I think it means that what we are reflects to a small degree what God is. I think by means of studying ourselves we can begin to understand (at least a little) certain attributes of God. For example, the God of the Bible says that He is a trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit – three distinctly different entities, yet One God. I could not even BEGIN to understand that concept except through knowing that He made ME as a trinity: mind, body, and spirit – three distinctly different ways of knowing me, yet one me. The God of the Bible says He is omniscient, that He possesses all knowledge. Learning of the unfathomable complexity of our bodies helps us get a glimmer of that truth. Just when we think we have a handle on a single, teensy aspect of our bodies, we discover we haven’t even scratched the surface. It is always so.

I try to understand these spiritual concepts through earthly illustrations. Suppose a sculptor were to mold a statue of himself. A study of that statue alone would reveal many things about the sculptor such as his artistic skill, his knowledge of whatever media he used, how he viewed himself, maybe even a few things about his politics, religion, etc. However, if the person studying the statue actually KNEW the sculptor, was a friend of his, and spent many hours in conversation with him, then his study of the statue would reveal a richness and subtlety unavailable to those who never knew the sculptor. He would perhaps chuckle at the expression of the face where no one else would, because he knows exactly the conditions and circumstances that produce that expression on his friend’s face. He would know that the clothing of the statue was his friend’s favorite and why, and the significance of including it in this statue as it stands in this particular location. He would know so many things, that in a real way, the statue brings his friend right into his heart and mind.

In the same way, I think those who do not know the God of the Bible, do not know, at least not very clearly or accurately, what “made in the image of God” really means. If you do not first know the Creator, a study of yourself yields just dry facts of utility and passing interest. But if you study yourself from the standpoint of a relationship with Christ, then it brings God right into your heart and mind.