Understanding who we are will lead us to an amazing conclusion. We are made in the image and likeness of God (see Genesis 1:26-27). No animal or angel can make such a boast, but every human child, whether from India, Saudi Arabia, or America is fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. That means we are; creators, relaters, inventors, care-givers, servers, lovers, communicators, explorers, discoverers, adventure seekers, compassionate, wisdom focused, artistic, spiritual beings. Our discoveries, activities, and potential accomplishments are limitless. We are man the maker, or woman the maker. Like God, everyone of us is an artist. There are hundreds of types of art and you are skillful in many of them. There is painting, sculpting, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, acting, cooking, weaving, sewing, writing, filming, directing, inventing, managing, making money, business, negotiating, counseling, preaching, teaching, engineering, landscaping, hosting, playing a sport, and exercising spiritual gifts, to name only a few. If you rightly use your God-intended crafts, you will be fulfilled, not disappointed or depressed.
The computer has brought good and bad changes to our society. The ability to gain knowledge and access other people is incredible, but the loss of outdoor or social activities and the loss of creativity is devastating. An overindulgence with computer games, videos and texting are conspiring against many to undermine their God-given artistry. The end result of a computer-saturated life can be disappointment and depression. It can lead to a failure in health, a stagnant life initiative, and a terrifying spiritual drought.
The responsibility lies with teachers, parents and spiritual leaders to recognize the shift in society, and expose the out-of-balance dilemma. Rather than allow this trend to engulf our children or ourselves, we should set boundaries, organize alternatives, and initiate activities that do not involve a digital screen. We are made in God’s image, but failure to exercise what God gives us will lead to spiritual atrophy.
The Creative You
Let us look at a few aspects that highlight our God likeness so we may extend ourselves and discover what we have been made for. First of all, let’s focus on the creative you.
God spoke to Moses and said, “I have chosen Bezalel … and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood. Ex. 31:1-5
Later he said, “And he has given … the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers, in blue purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen. Ex. 35:30-35
All art and creativity comes from God, but it can be misdirected. Men like Mozart and Picasso were extremely gifted, but they wandered from the values of godliness. Their art came from God, but some of it, along with their personal lives were perverted.
Although the following scripture is talking about spiritual matters, Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians gives us guidelines for a creative life. We read, “No one can lay any foundation than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. … If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; … Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? … God’s temple is sacred and you are that temple.” 1Co. 3;11-17
If a person lays a foundation for their lives other than Christ, they have no foundation, for He is the only foundation; all others will crumble. How we build or create will be exposed in the end. Our bodies are sacred and what we do and who we are should be holy. The Lord provides guidelines for our creativity and art; it does not have to be religious but it must be wholesome.
The Relational You
Like the creative you, the relational you is made after God’s image. The Bible teaches us that even though we are individuals, we are one body, members one of another. We are taught to love one another and bear each other’s burdens. Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers for He died to bring many sons into glory. We are family. We cannot be loners or hermits and be fulfilled. It may be easier to avoid people, but it is not Christian or God-like. Each person should be a vibrant participant in church life. Here are some biblical guidelines for relating with others. I am not able to expand on them in this article, but I encourage you to get the all of the CD messages, “In His Image”. Good relationships embrace these biblical truths.
1. Do not be yoked with unbelievers
2. Bear one another’s burdens
3. Love one another as Christ loved you
4. Give generously to one another
5. Pray goodness upon all who harm you
6. Forgive those who hurt you
7. Encourage others
8. Promote and prefer others
9. Serve others and seek their good
10. Be patient with others
The Generous You
You are made in God’s image and that means you are called to be generous. The more you exercise the God-given traits within you, the more you will be like Him. He is the most generous, so if you are to be complete you must be generous as well.
It starts by being generous in spirit. You extend excessive kindness, compassion and love toward others. This is essential and it involves giving of your time, energy and of course your money. The Bible says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, … for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Lk. 6:38
The implication is clear; if you give with a small measuring cup, you get back a small measure, but if you give with a large measuring cup, you receive a large amount back. Furthermore, we discover that God is teaching us to be generous. We cannot be complete unless we are generous; that is the way we were made.
The Spiritual You
In this article, I could have addressed, the healthy you, the serving you, the communicating you, the adventurous you, the emotional you, the compassionate you, or some other theme about you. I had to be selective, so I choose one more area, the spiritual you.
All people are spiritual. Even atheists are spiritual, only they follow the wrong spirit. As we discover God, we discover ourselves, and others, and also the world around us. One of the most satisfying and powerful areas to discover is our spiritual calling. We are on the right track when we encounter God in a personal way through Jesus Christ. Then we talk with Him and He speaks with us. He gives us spiritual gifts of prayer, and prophesy. He gives us the ability to do things that are supernatural and to help others. As we get to know Him, He changes our character and our perspective. Before long we recognize a new spiritual dimension. It is called walking in the Spirit. Spiritual things become more real than the material things around us. We learn to live and function as the Holy Spirit guides us. He becomes our teacher and our lives revolve around Him. Only then are we on the right road toward fulfilling that which began when we were made in the image and likeness of God.
As we exercise what God puts in us, the arts, relationships, and spirituality, we must be sure to keep it godly. If we do, everything works together for good and we fulfill the creator’s mandate.