I think sometimes when the first chapters of Genesis are read we think of being created in God’s physical image, and leave it right there. Yet the Hebrews have an important word that goes with that story of creation, it is called Neshama–the human soul. They believed it was not so much the physical image that was important, but the human soul–Neshama–that God placed in us that is what makes us in His image.
It is important to take a deeper look at the value of people being in God’s image based not merely upon the outward appearance, but upon the human soul and God’s Spirit within us. If we say we are made in God’s likeness, then God must be short, tall, fat, skinny, attractive, not attractive, with all the physical perfections and imperfections common to humanity.
However, if what makes us like our Father is something within, and not merely two arms and legs, two hands and feet, a torso, neck and head, then we are moving beyond mere physical importance relating to what places us within His image. Having moved beyond the mere physical view, we can truly see the worth of each individual beyond the material boundaries.
Having been made in God’s image, the core of our being given the ability to reason, to be self-aware, to practice free will, to choose and act on love, we begin to see the importance of life issues. We understand why it matters that babies are not destroyed, why it matters that the elderly are not discarded, for we are dealing with human souls made in God’s image, carrying about the human soul implanted by God. And for those who have accepted Christ, they carry the very Spirit of God within.
What all this means to us as Christians with afflictions and disabilities is that our value and worth is not dependent upon functioning limbs, or working eyes and ears, or even healthy brains, but upon the fact that we are God’s children given a human soul and recipients of the Spirit of God. By our very existence we matter.
We are representative of God on earth as He lives, moves, and breathes through our lives. God makes us valuable. God makes our lives worthwhile. And God can impact the world through us, not because we are examples of physical perfection, but because we are human souls carrying about the love of God within us.
We matter because He matters, and He makes a difference in this world through us, irregardless of our physical abilities or handicaps.
It is a privilege and an honor to be God’s children. We matter because we matte to him. Your life has value because God has given you life. Don’t let physical handicaps or limitations get you down. Hold your head high because you are a living example of the image of God.
Prayer: Dear Lord, life often gets us down, and sometimes we feel down because of physical limitations and handicaps. But do not let us lose sight of our unique nature, we are truly made in Your image, and we praise You for it. Amen.
You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com
About the Author: Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He has lived with afflictions for many years, but has found God’s strength sufficient in his weakness.
Do you sometimes have a poor self-image? Have you considered that the image of God comes from within rather than without?