You are LIKE God, not A God

What does it mean to act in God’s image?

We are made in God’s image, and after the sixth day, was it really good? Maybe at first, but if it stayed that way the bible would be shorter than a children’s book.

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As light hits our retina, our brains construct what we objectively see. These images enable us to function in the physical world. Without them, an image such as the conventional stop sign would be of no use and driving would be chaotic. Our visual system is built to process images surrounding us in real-time. But we cannot see God.

The image of God isn’t something we perceive with our visual systems – we cannot see the deity.

So when God made us in his image, he raised us up to have the capability of acting in his image. What this image means is up to the individual. We are not seeing this image; we are imagining the possibilities of acting it out, and choosing an action that best fits how we make sense of the ideology of God.

God created man and it was….Good?

So God created mankind  in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (GEN 1:27)

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (GEN 1:31)

Was it really good? Surely, all of God’s creation is inherently good. However, if mankind stayed living in God’s image, there would be no need for the rest of the bible after the creation story.

Shortly after the creation story we are inevitably introduced to the capacity of acting in free will. Acting this way can cause mankind to deviate from the image of God. This definitely gave the rest of the bible’s authors’ something to write about.

The Perils and Pearls of Free-Will

Let’s start with the danger of free-will. There is one danger of free will: acting in discord with God’s image (i.e. sin). There is a wonderful tweet by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman that states what the sin of gluttony can do to an individual:

Neuroscientist, Andrew Huberman, on addiction and happiness.

Our tendency to pursue pleasure and avoid pain biases our free will towards acting hedonistically. The problem is that although pleasurable acts can benefit you, they can also harm you. Huberman states that those harmful things (i.e. drug addiction) occur passively. Beneficial pleasures (i.e. exercise) take work and are not purely hedonistic.

Harming one’s mind, body, and spirit occurs because of our free will. We are free to do as we please, and if we do not discern what to do, we are prone to act in sin. Sin is the default because it is easy.

There is truth in the song titled “The Devil is a Lie” by Jay-Z. I believe this because God is the source of all things right and just while the devil is simply the absence of God. Therefore, the Devil isn’t some entity, it is just the absence of the one who governs everything: God.

It’s the classic case of darkness is the absence of light. Just like we need work to generate electricity, we also need to work to be living in God’s image.

Acting in discord with God’s image leaves us in peril. Thankfully, also by virtue of our free will, we are able to act in accordance with God’s image. If we have lived a life of sin, not all is lost because we are always under God’s grace. However, that grace is FINITE. So we must not abuse it.

Peace and love! #sparkperception

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