During the sermon this past Sunday (March 19, 2023), Pastor provided a helpful model for us to consider when interacting with all people:
“Though [person’s name] is different from me in their [person’s difference], because [person’s name] is a human and is thus made in the image of God like me, then I should treat [person’s name] as God intends for me to treat someone who is made in His likeness.”
I want to share two thoughts about what this framework, rooted in God’s Word, teaches us.
First, this model reveals how prone we are to pride. At the root of most, if not all, conflicts is our desire to be right. This manifests itself through thinking that we ourselves are the standard of truth by which everyone else has to follow; however, we are not “Gods.” As created beings, we must make our Creator God and what He says (i.e., the Bible) the standard of truth that we must follow and obey.
Secondly, this model serves as the foundational motive for any and all interactions with other people. Any sane human being understands the concept of “being nice to other people” as the positive (or opposite) of “not being mean to other people” (i.e. not yelling at or being violent towards others). Yet without the framework of humanity being made in God’s image, people do not have a clear reason for why they should “be nice.” The believer, however, does have a clear motive: all people are created in the image of God just like we are, therefore we must treat them with kindness and respect, even as God demonstrates in His love towards us.
These two ideas are an especially poignant reminder for me when I am tempted to get angry or upset with other people. Rather than focusing on how much I do not like a person (a manifestation of pride), I am instead challenged to remember that people bear God’s image, which should result in me demonstrating kindness towards others.
May God be glorified as we seek to show God’s love for us by loving others who are made in His image!