In the story of creation, we read: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Many have wondered what exactly “the image of God” means. There are several schools of thought. One group thinks that it refers to our ability to reason. Another philosophy is that it means that God is reflected in us in our bodies: our physical characteristics and the way we walk and talk. Still others say it is about our relational nature and the relationships we have with God and creation.
I tend to lean toward the last description. He gave human beings a special place in the world, and he desires a close, personal bond with us. His love for us is on a much deeper and different level than it is with plants and animals, for instance. And God selected humans to rule over every living creature (Genesis 1:28).
Beyond our place in creation, he gave us a special place in his heart. God says in Jeremiah 31:3, ”I have loved you with an everlasting love.” He sent Jesus to save us out of his great love for us. Peter reminds us that through Christ, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
That is our role as those who were created in God’s image: We are to declare his praises and we are to be imitators of him in the way that he loves. Let your gift of being formed in the image of God shine through you today.