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The way you define what it means to be human WILL determine your outlook on life.

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26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

 

What does it mean to be human? If you ask a geneticist, you’d get an explanation of human beings on a molecular and DNA level. They might even explain to you the Human Genome Project undertaken in the 1990’s and completed in June of 2000. If you ask a biologist, they might inform you that homo sapiens are the most developed mammal species on the face of the plant. They’d tell you that human beings have one of the biggest brain in relation to their body weight – it’s one of the things that makes us human. If you ask an existential philosopher, they’d tell you that because we have the ability to think, reason, and to sustain life, we’re human. All of these definitions are correct to a certain extent, but they’re all incomplete and they all lack the essence of what it means to be human.

Definitions determine the way we see things. If you define and describe a hammer as a staple remover, that’s most likely the way you’ll use it. First of all good luck with that. But, you’ll miss out on all the things you could use it for as a hammer. If you define and describe a cell phone as a paper-weight, that’s what you’ll use it for, and then you’ll miss out on all the things it can do as a cell phone, like playing games and sending text messages. Our definitions and descriptions inform the expectations we have and the way we go about interacting with different objects. That’s why it’s so important to define what it means to be human. This will determine your outlook on life.

It’s important to wrestle with what it means to be human and come to a thoughtful, biblically-based answer. Have you ever heard someone say, “It feels like I was made for so much more?” Or maybe they expressed it by saying, “I want my life to count. I want it to matter. I want it to mean something.” All of those sentiments are the realization that being human includes far more than being a collection of matter and molecules. It’s more than just having a physical body. It’s more than being able to think and rationalize. We know intrinsically that life has meaning and purpose. There is a design, a reason behind it, and a goal for it. Today, listen to Switchfoot’s song Live it Well and think through the areas of your life you want to live more fully.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson

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