In my conversations with people about the Christian faith, I often point out that Christianity is the only worldview that answers two of the biggest questions in life in a such a way that it elevates mankind to the heights of excellence. These two questions we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives and the way we answer these questions determine how we live out our life. The questions are, who am I? and why am I here?
Who am I? People struggle with this question and seek to define themselves in various ways. The world will tell you that you are your job, or you are the things you own, or you are just a product of evolution, a walking and talking clump of cells. These answers end in a low view of life and in truth prove to be destructive to society.
For instance, the secular world has defined people as being the product of evolution for the past hundred years or so and we have seen the value of human life devalued. We have seen life destroyed by wars, we have murdered millions in death camps, we have murdered millions through abortion, and we have produced a society that is so impersonal that we have developed on a societal level a drug and technology dependency that is replacing meaningful relationships and purpose for living. This devaluation of human life is what happens when we see each other as nothing more than a cosmic accident.
The Bible on the other hand says we are wonderfully made, created in the image of God and precious in His sight. When we understand that God made us in love, we come to see all people are endowed with an intrinsic worth and dignity, that we have a right to exist and that our differences are insignificant. Viewing others as created in the image of God, we instinctively overlook the things that make us different and instead see them as God sees them, and this view binds us together in healthy relationships. Instead of fighting for individual advancement we seek the betterment of others, we learn to love our neighbor as ourselves and this elevates us all to the heights of excellence.
Why am I here? God is a Trinity in unity, He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and they are in perfect relationship with each other, and we are made in His image and so are created to be in relationship with each other. The greatest commandment is to love God and it is all about relationship, with Him and with others. We are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, doing this brings us into a unifying relationship with God and allows us to fulfill the second commandment, to love ones’ neighbor as yourself.
St Thalassios the Libyan put it well when he said:
“An all-embracing and intense longing for God binds those who experience it both to God and one another.” And “Love alone harmoniously joins all created things with God and with each other.”
When we fulfill the two commandments given to us by Jesus, we bring glory to God, which is our purpose. By loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength we give God the glory He rightfully deserves, while at the same time, doing so also conforms us into more fully into His image, which allows us to love our neighbor as ourselves as we reflect the love of God onto others.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Are you defining yourself and others as being created in the image of God? How are you living out the commandments of God?