South Students Devotional 5
What Image Do You See?
We are bombarded with images every single day. Whether we are scrolling through Instagram, watching our favorite show on Netflix, playing video games, or just driving around town. These images shape the way we see people, our community, our neighbors, ourselves. These images can have a positive or negative effect, but more often, it’s a negative effect. For example, how often do you look at yourself in the mirror and think positive thoughts, after scrolling through Instagram, seeing everyone’s highlight reels of their lives? The news that we see shapes the way we see certain leaders in our world. Just look at what’s happening in our country right now. People are dying, rioting, protesting and more because of the way black people have been viewed and treated by so many in our country for as long as our country has existed. This is not ok. The way black people and other people of color are too often treated is not ok. Racism is not ok.
What image do we see when we look at others? Images are ultimately just a reflection. Throughout all of this, I keep coming back to Genesis 1 when God created humans. In Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” The image of God, or Imago Dei, as it is often called, is something that is inherent in every single human being. No exceptions. You were created in the image of God. Your black neighbor was created in the image of God. Your Arabic classmate was created in the image of God. The homeless person you pass by on the street was made in the image of God. Every single person you have ever seen and ever will see, is made in the image of God. This is not based on anything a person does or doesn’t do, but simply by who they are—human.
There is something clearly special about humanity. If you read the rest of chapter 1, you see that there is a transition from the language used of God creating everything else, speaking things into being, to personally making humans in his image and likeness. These words show that humans were created to be a representation of God on the earth. They were created to reflect God.
Knowing that every single human is made in the image of God should carry a lot of weight. If we truly believe that everyone is made in the image of God, it should change the way we view and treat others, as well as ourselves. This means that every human is valuable, no matter their race, how old they are, their occupation, or whether they are Christian or not. Each person has dignity, value, and worth. We need to love and treat others in a way that someone created in the image of God deserves.
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.
God, help me to see everyone the way you see them. Help me to see them as they truly are – someone made in the image of God. Help me to treat everyone with dignity, love, and respect because that’s what they deserve. Help me to be a better reflection of you as I interact with my family, friends, neighbors, and community. God, I also pray that seeing the image of God in people would be the lens that every single Christian would look through. That racism would stop with us. That we would love our neighbors well. That we would all see the beauty in each person because they were created in the very image of God. Amen.
- What tends to shape the way you view others the most? Social media? News? Friends? Family? Church? The Bible?
- Is it difficult for you to see yourself as being made in the image of God? If yes, why do you think that is?
- If you saw every person as someone made in the image of God, how would that change the way you act, talk, interact with others, etc.?
- What can you do this week to show someone that they have dignity, value, and worth because they are a human and they are made in the image of God?
Song to listen to
Spend some time listening to these songs, reflecting on the words, and sitting with Jesus.
Empires by Hillsong UNITED
Brother by The Brilliance – cover by Seth & Nirva
Here is a link to a Spotify playlist with all of the songs from these devotionals!