I remember when I was at school, oh so many years ago, we had to wear a uniform, with the school badge on our blazer pocket, and the official tie around our necks. No-one would be in any doubt as to which school we went. Because of this, the school was insistent that when we were wearing our uniform outside of the school gates, our behaviour had to be impeccable – otherwise it would reflect badly on the image of the school.
Genesis 9 v 6 tells me that I am made in the image of God – and as such I represent him. My behaviour as his creation reflects on his workmanship. I must not tarnish his image.
I think too, that being made in his image renders me valuable. Money that bears the image of the head of state declares it to be legal tender, and shows where it has come from – as Jesus noted in Matthew 22 v 21 regarding the coin with Caesar’s head.
Do we really appreciate that God made us to be like himself? We tend to think that Jesus had two arms and legs and one head because he was in human form. Maybe we have two arms and legs and one head because that’s the shape God uses. Doesn’t that demonstrate just how much he values us? No wonder he ‘demands an accounting’ for the life of each person.
I don’t think it comes as any great surprise that God doesn’t want us to murder each other. But do we really respect and value ourselves and others in recognition that we are made in the image of God? How many times do we speak down to people, or say unkind things about them – especially if they are in a different social class, or have less intelligence, or not good at their job, or irritating, or we just don’t like them! Jesus certainly took it seriously in Matthew 5 v 21-22.
In all our dealings with one another, let’s remember who we are representing. God’s image is a uniform we can’t slip out of!