Read Psalm 8.
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
As the Psalmist contemplates the glory and majesty of God in creation, he can’t help but breaks out in praise. But what fascinates and amazes him even more is the authority, the dignity and the glory God has invested in humankind. In comparison with the whole of creation, mankind appears small and insignificant, even weak and defenceless, yet God is so mindful of man and cares so much for us. “…what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5).” Genesis 1:27 tells us why - we are created in God's own image. Which means we are more like God than any of the rest of creation. Which means God has invested human beings with ultimate dignity and value. God has set mankind apart from all of His creation by putting his image in us.
And that has huge implication on how we must look at every human being. No matter how different they are from us, or even how repulsive and how much they get on our nerve; regardless of how malevolent their behaviour, or how ‘useless’ and helpless they appear to be… we must look beyond all that to the image of God in them. This understanding stands at the heart of human compassion, justice and equality. It changes the whole ballgame of human relationships, and human interaction, and all human institutions. When we remember that God has chosen each one of us to be His image-bearer will we treat one another with honor and dignity.
(1) Personally, how would this doctrine of mankind as bearers of God’s image change the way you interact with others?
(2) Is there someone (or a group of people) you need to treat with greater respect and dignity?
(3) What would you behave differently towards them?
Dear God, thank you for creating us in your image. Help me to always remember this truth so that I may treat each one with the dignity that you have given us. Amen.