Image of the Invisible God

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. – Colossians 1:15 The second commandment says that we are not to create any images of God, nor are we to serve an idol of our own creation. For any representation that we, as broken image bearers, will create will fall short of the true image and also have inherent flaws. While our idols and images of wholeness are not necessarily a golden calf, they fall short just the same. Having no images does not just refer to physical objects, but the the images that we demand wholeness and significance from. For the church leader, an image may be size of the church. Or having a particular reputation and status within the community. Or an idea of excellence that should be achieved. Striving for these things becomes equated with serving God well and begin to form a foundation for justification. In all of us, there is the temptation to put body image, dietary lifestyle, relational status, or even kid’s behavior and education on a pedestal. An image of wholeness and what a life well lived should look like. So we serve these things, and many, many others. Yet, these idols we strive after, all they will do is demand. There is no rest in the quest for body image. If you eat a snickers bar then you will have to work that much harder. There is no freedom in trying to achieve a certain financial independence, for it becomes a precarious position to maintain. More will always be required. Idols never forgive; they relentlessly take and...

All About That Bass

I’ll admit it, I like the Meghan Trainor song All About That Bass. It is on my iPhone. It’s catchy and I can sing and dance to it (thought that is something none of you will ever see – you can thank me when you see me). Also, I do appreciate the message of the damaging affects of comparison. (See What Comparison Does) Comparison erodes our sense of who we are and deprives us all of dignity. Those around us are deprived of their humanity by our using them as a measuring stick for our worth and significance. Our self is eroded because comparison causes us to live in a constant state of dissatisfaction. When we live in comparison, we can not develop healthy self-acceptance. (See What is Acceptance?) Church leaders compare the size of their churches to those around them, or to the mega-church that they’d like to be. Church leaders compare their leadership style to that of others, and end up trying to be something they are not. Church leaders compare their spouses to the Proverbs 31 or some other ideal, and the spouse feels the weight of that expectation. There is always something else to compare. But, here is the thing about the song’s message… Every inch of me is NOT perfect, from the bottom to the top. Many of us eat for comfort. That is not perfect. Many of us seek to control others. That is not perfect. Many of us make decisions at the expense of others. That is not perfect. Our tendency to compare is a symptom of the false self (the old nature)...

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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