The Spitting Image

“He is the spitting image of his mother (or father).”

Image entails the physical characteristics found in a child that are also found in one or both parents. Most of the time, this involves body shape, facial features, and hair color. But image can also refer to other idiosyncrasies—quirks if you will—found in the child and parent. The way they walk, talk, etc. This is only natural. Through the procreation process, parents “spit” a child out.

I never thought I looked like my dad—or even my mom. Not when I was born, nor when I got older. But I was the spitting image of them in other ways. Both had Type A personalities. I inherited their gene—and so did my children and grandchildren. Whether good or bad—and sometimes it has been both—we have it. As I get older, I hear my wife say more often, “You’re just like your momma.” Sometimes, I hate to admit it, but she’s right. The more I try not to act like my parents—at least, in certain ways—the more I mimic them.

When my oldest grandson was a mere two years old, my wife and I caught him fronting merchandise at a local dollar store. Customers had purchased items from the front of the shelf, but employees had not pulled the remaining items to the front. As we passed by some jumbled baby items, I noticed my grandson no longer traipsed on my heels. I looked around to find him pulling the items to the front—and making sure they all lined up. I thought, Boy, he sure will make a good grocery or retail store employee.

As he got older, things didn’t change. I remember the picture my daughter texted one day, showing him with all his toy cars in a straight line. And if things don’t go exactly according to his plans—or to what someone has told him are the plans—his attitude quickly deteriorates, It takes a good talking to get him back in sorts. He is made in the image of his mom, who is made in my image. And I, in turn, am made in the image of my parents.

But on a higher plane, we are made in God’s image. “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27 NLT). The difference is that God has no undesirable traits in His image.

Being made in God’s image doesn’t mean we look like God physically. We can’t. The Bible says He is Spirit. Yet, when He chose to do something about our sin dilemma, God did take on the form of a man.

After the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Christ, He ascended back into heaven in bodily form—although a resurrected body. At the end of time, we, too, will receive new resurrected bodies, designed to inhabit heaven.

God’s image in us means even more. Simply defined, being made in the image of God means God placed characteristics of Himself in us—characteristics not given to the plant or animal kingdom. This makes us special and unique.

We have a distinct personality that enables us to interact with others—a quality that allows us to think, reflect, and make decisions. We have the capacity to know and love others and to live in harmony with them. God has placed us in charge of His creation.

The image of God in us is most fully realized through a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we live in harmony with Him, we realize what it means to be truly human. God’s image in us allows us to fulfill the destiny God has in mind for us as we submit our life to Him.

God works through us when we become pliable—soft enough for Him to mold and shape into the image of His Son. He wants us to act like Jesus, for Jesus’ life completely demonstrated God’s image. Satisfaction comes when we let Christ shine through us.

Think of some ways God’s image in you can change your lifestyle and shine God’s love to others?

Martin Wiles

Martin lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us), the Senior Editor for Inspire-a-Fire, and a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He is an author, English teacher, minister, and freelance editor. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and the author of six books, including his most recent, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes for a Noisy World. He has also been published in numerous publications. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at martinwileseditor@gmail.com.

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