In the Image
I remember one time when my daughter was little, she came home from playing at a friend’s house and she was very upset. After a brief interview, the source of her frustration became obvious.Her little friend was “copying” her and it was “so annoying.” “Daddy,” she said, “she copies everything I do. I got my haircut and the next day she got hers cut the same way. Mama got me that plaid outfit and she got the exact same one. But today it was the worst. She got the exact same bike that I just got. Why does she have to do everything the exact same as me? Why can’t she just be herself?” After hearing her laments, her mother and I began to explain to her that imitation is the sincerest form of a compliment. We explained that her little friend simply loved her so much that she wanted to be just like her. What she didn’t understand at the time, but does now, is that imitation is a part of the created order. Being made in the image of God, mankind has an innate desire to imitate Him. We may not realize it, and some may even adamantly deny it, but the desire is still there. God put that desire within us for our own good. We can see it everywhere. Take art for example. We admire art that is a good likeness of the original. Same goes for photography, movies made after books, and Elvis impersonators. Music and movies tend to follow a prescribed pattern of imitation of other music and movies that are good (and profitable).
In keeping with God’s design for imitation he even gave himself to us in the image of man. That image was Christ, the atonement for our sins.
We are more than fortunate to have a God that makes life interesting for us and gives us gifts and abilities like beauty and the ability to imitate that beauty. We must always remember though, that the original comes from God, and no imitation is ever as good as the original. It can be great, but not quite the same. God, being the creator of it all is the ultimate thing to be imitated. That is why, I believe, he gave us the ability and desire to imitate. We are called in his Word (Eph. 5:1-2, Matt. 5:48, Luke 6:36, Eph. 4:32) to imitate God. When we make that the focus of our life (one day at a time) we begin to reach milestones in our sanctification, bring proper glory to God by exemplifying His nature, become a witness to unbelievers, and an encouragement to other believers.
Posted on March 17, 2012, in Christian Living Blog Entries and tagged art, art as imitation, feminism, Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:27, in the image of God, male headship. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.