Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Image Bearers by Martin Wiles

We have them in our bathrooms, bedrooms, and dining room. And they all mirror the same thing: whatever or whoever stands or sits in front of them.

Mirrors display what displays in them. If I stand in front of it, I don’t see my wife. If our cat or dog parades before it, they see themselves. A mirror bears the exact image of what stands before it unless it’s cracked or distorted.

But one thing a mirror can’t do is reflect what’s on my inside…my character, attitudes, and motives. The only way it can display these is if I act them out before the mirror. Such as with an angry face or clenched fists.

According to the psalmist, God delights in his children. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me (Psalm 18:19 NLT). The reason he does is because they bear his image. God created humans—and only humans, in his image. I parrot the characteristics of God in a way no animal or plant can. I feel, express emotions, and am capable of behavior that no other created thing can experience or display.

Jesus reflected the image of his heavenly Father during his earthly ministry. He told people that looking at him was looking at the Father. Just as I bear the image of my earthly parents, so I am to reflect correctly the image of my Lord and Savior. When I was a rebellious teenager, I didn’t bear my parent’s image clearly, and living disobediently to God’s principles distorts his image in me also.

Sin distorts God’s image in individuals, but accepting Christ’s work on the cross gives the opportunity to have it restored. Instead of reflecting the bad, mirror the good.

Prayer: Merciful God, enable us to correctly reflect Your image before others.

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