Covering Up the Broken Image

The moment they partook in the fruit that was forbidden by God they realized their nakedness. Everything changed. One moment their greatest worry was finding a new place in the garden to experience the beauty of all God made and the very next moment they realized that they stood naked before one another. That perfect image was broken and the first couple experienced shame.   Their vulnerability was on display and it was overwhelming. As they each looked at the other, instead of security, they were filled with questions and doubt. Shame entered the picture – the fear of not being loved nor accepted – and the result was an uncontrollable urge to make themselves more acceptable to the other.   So they sewed together fig leaves. To cover up their nakedness. The openness in which they lived with each other was now hidden behind a protective layer of chlorophyll. It might as well have been a wall.   New questions must have flew through their mind – Does this person love me? If s/he really knew me, deep down, they would run away. They are just using me. – Trust was in doubt. Instead of oneness, there was fear.   But this was not the end. Far from it – there are footsteps in the garden – God is coming! We must hide. Shame caused Adam and Eve to lose touch with the image. It was broken, and so was their relationship with the Creator   Rather than trust, there was now doubt about God’s goodness, doubt about whether He really wanted what was best for them. With the Creator,...

The Reflected Sense of Self

The Bible is truth. It cannot be minimized into a user manual for life. Nor it is a guide for a more prosperous life. To say it is a science book would also be a mistake. It is the truth about our relationship with God. Man’s search for significance and God’s desire to impart it to us.   It is with that belief that a passage in the book of James helped me shed light on a psychological concept that I just became aware of: the reflected sense of self.   We all want significance and will try to find it in Christ or outside of Christ. When we seek it outside of Christ, we form what spiritual theologians call the false self. An identity that allows us to define our significance. Yet, while we would call ourselves free, in reality it is the opposite of the freedom that God intends for us.   One of the ways that we experience this bondage is that the false self must be continually propped up in order to be convinced of its significance. We become a slave to securing our identity. Significance requires comparison, so the false self attempts to define who we are in relation to others. Among others, the question “what do others think of me?” becomes of paramount importance as we attempt to feed the false identity outside of Christ.   This is where we pick up with the idea of the reflected sense of self – that out of our own lack we take on the emotions that are reflected to us by others. It is as if we...

Created in God’s Image

The concept of identity, and finding it in God alone began in the garden with the creation of the first man and first woman. Back to the garden in which God saw that everything He made was good, but looking around something was still missing. Out of a pile of dust on the ground, God formed man. Still, that was not enough, the creation needed something special, something of more value, something that in the end was going to have him up the ante from good to very good. So, God made man just not another creature, but an image bearer of the Creator Himself. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 Mankind was created to bear the image of God. It is part of our being and is what makes us human. This image given to Adam and his bride, Eve, gave them the capacity to accomplish their purpose to rule over the creatures and subdue the earth.   It is the image that gives us special value within the creation. How is a human different than a dolphin, cat, hamster or spider? People were crafted in the image of God, while the others were not.   The special gift of God’s image also gave special standing in the creation – united with God, having a relationship with Him and serving Him, while at the same time stewarding the creation.   Because of the untarnished image of God, there was perfect identity in God. The man and his wife had...

Shattering the Image

Hand crafted in the image of the Creator, experiencing no shame, the man and woman were left to tend the garden God had placed them in. For an unknown amount of time, the two of them lived in this idyllic state. Until the Lie. A serpent appears on the scene with the ability to talk. Myself, I hate snakes. Since I can never remember if it is “yellow on black, better step back” or “red on black, friend of Jack” or “red on yellow, you’re a dead fellow”, I just play it safe and avoid them all. Much more so a snake that could talk.   But that bit of wisdom was not available to our happy couple and they engage the crafty serpent in conversation. This serpent is intent on spreading a Lie; God held back on them, He really did not have their best interest at heart and could not be trusted. They were really less valuable then they were going around thinking. There was something they were still lacking if they were going to be complete.   The Lie was that there was something in addition to God that would make them whole.   Sound familiar? The enemy convinced God’s image bearers that they were incomplete and not fully acceptable. It is the same Lie that all of us at some point believe. It is the source of our false self and it comes in a million forms. “I am not wanted.” “I am not lovable.” “God is nowhere to be found.” “I am unnoticed.” “I am defective.” This list could go on and on.  ...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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