Worldview Biblical Essay Theology 104 Ericka Morales Introduction: The term "image of God" occurs three times in the Bible. In Genesis 1:26-27 and 9:6, we find out that man is created in the image of God. In 2 Cor. 4:4 we see the phrase used in reference to Jesus who is the "image of God. " There is no exact understanding of what the phrase means, but we can generalize. It would seem that the first two verses refer to God's character and attributes that are reflected in people.
The term cannot be a reference to a physical appearance of God since Jesus says in John 4:24 that God is Spirit, and in Luke 24:39 Spirit does not have flesh and bones. Therefore, we can conclude that the image of God deals with humanity's reflection of God in such things as compassion, rationality, love, hatred, fellowship, etc. God exhibits all of these characteristics, as do people. Example 1: A good starting point is to respect others because God said to.
For example, we read in the Bible that husbands and wives are to respect their spouse and the wife must respect her husband Ephesians 5:33. Husbands, in the same way are considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect 1 Peter 3:7. The same principle applies to other relationships. Peter wrote that we should show respect to everyone. You can respect your spouse, child, parent, boss or others because of their position. Acknowledge that others have weaknesses. Everyone is imperfect.
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Be careful not to let their failures erode your respect for their good qualities. Look for things that you can respect. You can find something to respect in anybody if you look hard enough. Respect others as children of God. I work in a retirement community and everyday I interact with residents, families, doctors and nurse’s and my bosses the administrator and executive director and co-workers. I find that by showing respect to every person I come in contact with not only serves God’s plan for me, but my plan for my self.
I have a resident who comes into my office several times a day and she does not remember coming in five minute’s before and even though I have work that needs to be completed I stop what I am doing and take the time to show this resident respect and listen. Sometimes it may even be that she doesn’t need my assistance with anything, she just wants a friendly face and a good listener. I hope when I am older a need a friend someone will be there for me as well. I stopped and listened to show respect to my elder and that what she had to say was meaningful and valuable.
Example 2: God wants us to have a heart of compassion for others. Compassion involves feeling, but it involves so much more. If we only feel, then we are sympathetic. If our sympathy motivates us to act, then it becomes compassion. True compassion feels and it acts. Notice that compassion begins with feeling. Without feeling, there is no compassion. Feeling is not enough, but it is a place to begin. If we do not weep for those who are hurting, how can we minister to them? We must be about the Savior’s preoccupation with people.
I believe that if we serve hurting people, encourage those in despair, help those in need, and hurt with those in pain, we will have not only enriched their lives but have done exactly what God would want us to do. People don’t go where the action is; people go where the love is. I have worked in the geriatric nursing field my entire adult life and the most important impact on the lives that I touch is my ability to be compassionate. I find that when a spouse or children lose their mother or father it is the one of the most traumatic times in their lives.
Every person handles grief differently so each time I have consoled a spouse or family member it is different. I’ve held there hands, given them a hug, shared God’s word with them, prayed, and in some cases just been a shoulder to cry on. But if can I can be there for a person in their time of loss and offer compassion and hope and remind them that God is with them, I think it makes a big difference. I have family members and spouses that years down the road have seen in and thanked me for helping them through one of the roughest days of their life.
I may not be able to help everyone but the ones I can help I think God would want me too. I have found that by helping others it has created a reward in my life that is immeasurable. Conclusion: Finally, because everyone is made in the image of God, then everyone should be treated with proper respect and honor because they reflect God. Of course, we know that many people are full of evil and hatred and we must guard ourselves and others against them. Still, we are to treat others with respect. During His time on earth, Jesus was the embodiment of God’s compassion.
Scripture frequently tells us that Christ was “moved with compassion” by the suffering of the people Mark 6:34, 8:2. Simple acts of compassion make a difference in every area of life. When our children run through the house and fall down, they need a hug or a kiss to make everything all right. When a friend finds themselves in a tough situation, a listening ear makes all the difference in the world. When someone is sick, a call or a card can brighten their day. By showing respect and compassion everyday you can enrich your life and the life of others.
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