The way we see God is the way we see ourselves ; and the way we see ourselves is the way we see others.
In the Book of Genesis we read: “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:26-27)
We are all created in God’s image. So how do we see God, and therefore our own self-image and the image of others? This is a crucial question. For example, if we see God as a mighty King who lays down the rules and severely punishes those who disobey them by committing them to Hell for eternity—-then we see ourselves as sinners who are always falling short of the rules and worthy of punishment. We will also see others as evil people like us who cannot be worthy of going to Heaven unless we do the prescribed repentance ; unlovable and not to be trusted.
The Biblical answer to the question—-How do we see God and therefore ourselves and those others around us?—is simple. When I turn to the Gospels, I find that God gave us an answer to that question in Jesus. IN JESUS GOD WAS GIVEN A FACE AND A HEART!! It’s called “the incarnation”. The God Jesus revealed was and is a God we could love and who loves us back—-because Jesus by his life and ministry and teachings has shown us that God is love! GOD IS LOVE is the central attribute that stands behind all the descriptions of God in our Bible.
Read the 13th chapter of I Corinthians:
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body, so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing…. (I. Cor. 13:1-3
Paul writes that if we are brilliant speakers, have vast knowledge , have faith capable of moving mountains, willingly give our bodies as sacrifices AND DO NOT HAVE LOVE—all is worthless.
LOVE IS THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING. LOVE DEFINES GOD. Therefore I must ask these questions for you to ponder-––-Is your God a God of love? Does love direct all that you are as a person? Do you love those around you because you see in them the image of God—-Love?
Think about it!