A couple weeks ago in a staff meeting, we were asked two self-reflection questions. The first was, “Where did you see God this week?” The second was, “How is your soul?” Naturally, when I heard the first question, I thought of a joke. I was going to respond, “When I looked in the mirror.” Before I could blurt out my sarcastic answer, I entered a theological debate with myself. This happens quite often.
Obviously, I was being facetious with my original answer. However, this led me down a path of inner discussion as to who it is when I look in the mirror. While I am not God, I am created in his image; we all are. This is what God said when he created man in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” We, unlike anything else in this world, have been created in the likeness of our creator. This means that we all resemble him one way or another. As Brennan Manning puts it in many of his books, each of us has the ‘spark of the Divine’ inside of us.
What is it that you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see someone who bears a striking resemblance to the Almighty, or do you see someone who is far lesser than that? I think that most of us have a negative view of who we are. When we look at ourselves, we see someone who is a failure. We are often not proud of who we are and what we’ve become. We think that our sins and mistakes have totally dimmed the light of the Lord that resides in us. Depression, anxiety, and regret all have marred how we view ourselves.
I have written many times on here about how we are not defined by such things. That is simply not how God views us. We are not worthless, but we are of great value to God. Would he have sent his son to die for that which is insignificant? I think not. You are loved by God and seen as a treasure. You are his prized creation and beloved child.
If you have ever read the Gospel of John, then you are probably aware of how he identified himself throughout the book. He never called himself John but always ‘The disciple whom Jesus loved.’ I appreciate his proper use of who and whom. I have heard some say that it is arrogant of him to refer to himself as such. I disagree. I wish that this is how we all viewed ourselves. He never said that he was the only one Jesus loved, nor the one he loved the most. He simply acknowledged that he was loved by Jesus.
What would it look like if we all viewed ourselves that way? What if when we looked in the mirror, we saw someone who was created in God’s image and is loved by Jesus? I believe that would free us of so much. Imagine the weight that would be lifted off your heart and your shoulders if you foremost thought of yourself as a cherished creation and treasured child. If that is how we were to define ourselves, then there is nothing that the world could throw at us that would bring us down.
The original question was, “Where did you see God this week?” While I was just trying to be funny with my answer, I think that I stumbled onto something true. We can see God whenever we look into the mirror. No, we are not God in full, nor should we strive to take his place. He is all-powerful and unequable. He is far greater than anything that our minds could ever fathom. But, as his handiwork, we do have his fingerprints on us. We were created with care and purpose. It was out of God’s love that he sent his own son to die for us, so that those who believe will be saved and live in eternity with him. It doesn’t seem to me that God views us the same way that we often view ourselves.
The next time that you look in the mirror or negative thoughts enter your mind, remember who you are and whose you are. Remember that you have the ‘spark of the Divine’ inside of you. Remember that you are loved and hand-crafted by the Creator. There simply is not room to view yourself negatively if you are defined as the one whom Jesus loves.