Potentiality and the Image of God

“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule.” (Genesis 1:26)
“He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15)
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

  • How would my interactions with people be different if I saw the potential in each and every person?
  • Instead of seeing the ugly parts of people and always trying to feel superior to certain people, what if I looked at them the way God looks at them?—as people with God’s image within them, struggling to make this glorious potential shine forth but hindered by the damage that sin does to each of our beings.
  • What if instead of judging people as a part of this fallen world, I looked at them with the compassion of Jesus, who saw people as sheep without a shepherd?
  • What if instead of lumping people into categories of “us vs. them,” I instead lumped us all into a category of potentiality?—that each of us has the potential to shine as glorious image bearers, that each of us has vast potential to be all that God wants us to be.
  • What if, in my desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ with people, I helped them realize that their innate desire to be great was put there by God, but it is being warped into a selfish and prideful thing instead of the potentiality that God has given us for his glory?—that to shine as the glorious image of God is greater than anything we could accomplish on our own.
  • What if I did not sneer at human endeavors to improve ourselves and instead affirmed these and tried to redirect them towards God’s end and not our end?
  • What if I implored people to give up their selfish attempts at greatness and follow the one who will provide greatness to us?—not for our glory, but for the glory of the one we can more greatly reflect.
  • What if I share with people that Jesus, the ultimate image of God, has provided the pathway for the potentiality in each of us to burst forth?—that the gospel is about the restoration of that God-glorifying image in each of us, making us the glorious beings that we are meant to be.

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Ted Gossard said...

Yes Bob. I so much agree. We need to view people in this way, focusing on God's goal in Christ, rather than focusing on the problem. Faith does not deny the problem, but looks to the vision of God through his kingdom having come and coming, in Christ. And in Christ calls us all to this kingdom.

Bob Robinson said...

[[ Faith does not deny the problem, but looks to the vision of God through his kingdom having come and coming, in Christ. ]]

Very nicely said!

pingback-pursuit of glory said...

Bob Robinson wrote a post titled Potentiality and the Image of God, talking about some of the implications that God’s view of us and His design in creating us have on our potential. I love the forward positive thinking of this post. I have a tendency to criticize others who are different than me even if I don’t verbally or physically show that judgment. Yet, what would life be like if God viewed us that way? The foundation of grace is God’s acceptance of us through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us, while we were yet sinners. How I long to look on upon every Christian with a joy for their love of God regardless of how they worship or where.

Chris Barker said...

Bob, thanks for stopping by to comment on my pingback seen above. It is amazing how I often only try to answer half of the question. Thanks for the challenging question, blessings.

Scott said...

Bob, Imagine how this "radical acceptance" would change the face of the church. All these people we look down, crossways, or strangley at bringing their unique gifts to the body of believers....

Anonymous said...

We're all suppose to live as spiritual brothers and sisters, but were separated because of Adam and Eve went the wrong direction, that's why Jesus came to restore the relationship with our creator. He commanded us to live in neighborly love to show our love for God so we can give the world back to him.