What better place to start my Biblical study into manhood than the beginning of the story, Genesis.
The first time we see mention of man is in Genesis 1:26-29
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
The first thing that is mentioned about man is that he is made in God’s image (women too!) Isn’t that an amazing thought. We are so measly compared to God and yet He specifically picked us to be made like Him. He didn’t pick the animals we think of as majestic like the lion to be made in His image…He chose us!
What does that mean though? What does it mean to be made in His image?
I think it means that we have a responsibility to reflect God’s characteristics at all times unto the rest of the world. Think about it from an art perspective. I am no artist, but I enjoy art quite a lot. I always think its funny to see how artists would so often do self-portraits. Why would they do this other than to show the aspects of themselves, they want to show to the world? In a true self-portrait the artist will create an image of themselves that shows what they look like so that all future onlookers can feel as if they saw the artist him/herself.
Why would God do this? I think it is so no matter where we look, we are looking at the face of God and that should be a reminder to treat everyone we see as if they were God. Not by worshiping them, but by treating them with the respect that God would deserve to be treated. Imagine if you saw God, would you treat Him poorly? Would you gossip behind His back? Would you make a comment about His appearance? Somehow I doubt it.
As a member of mankind, I need to treat others with the respect they deserve whether they have “earned” it in my opinion or not. I need to respect them like they are made in the image of God, because just like me, they are. It also means I need to treat myself with that same respect.
If you view others like they were made in the image of God, how would that change the way you act?