Below are some additional interactions on the article: Our Original Identity. Read it first.
Evolution—the simplest definition means change over time. Two forms of evolution need to be distinguished: micro- and macro-evolution. Microevolution is animals and plants adapting to their environment. Macroevolution, on the other hand, is amoeba to human mutation over billions of years. That microevolution takes place is not questioned. The more important debate concerns macroevolution. For this study, we are contrasting atheistic, Darwinian evolution with the Christian creation perspective.
“God saw”—This is actually an important phrase. When God sees something in Scripture it means he is evaluating it according to his standard of righteousness and goodness. In other words, God looks upon something and examines it and announces his conclusion. For what it’s worth, God’s judgments are final.
Randall Niles has a several short but interesting video clips. This is one of those.
In high school I remember standing in front of the mirror for long periods of time looking at my reflection. “What will I become? What will I look like 15 years from now?” I tried to look at myself as if for the first time. I wondered what it would be like to see myself from outside my own body. “What would I look like from God’s perspective? How does he see me?”
The world seems so fixated on what we look like on the outside; who’s cute, sexy or hot, or who has the right clothes on, or the hair—OMG—the hair, or big lips, skinny hips, large pores, long lashes, droopy eyes, flat nose… the list is endless! And I never measured up. I remember seeing a scene in the movie Mean Girls where the high school girls were all complaining about intricate aspects of their looks, and innocent Cady declares that she has bad breath some times! And I read recently that models today are 15% thinner than the gorgeous models from only 10 years ago. Who can possibly keep up with or compete with that? But it’s not just a girl thing, because untold numbers of young guys are taking steroids so they can look like pro wrestlers and UFC fighters!
Then I came across this verse in 1 Samuel 16:6 and 7, and it sorta kicked my head. It says, 6“When they arrived, Samuel saw Jesse’s son Eliab and said to himself, ‘This man standing here in the LORD‘s presence is surely the one he has chosen. ‘ 7But the LORD said to him, ‘Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.'”
It has really helped me understand that my identity is not in how I look or the physical attributes or frailties I was given, but it is rather the character of my heart that defines me in God’s eyes above all else. That’s where I have decided to put my attention—at strengthening and beautifying my heart through developing godly character and faith and compassion! What about you? What deserves your greatest attention?
Psalm 139:13–16—another psalm that illustrates the care and precision God takes in creating each individual.
Small group guide:
“Reflection”—a music video by Christina Aguilera from Mulan that illustrates this issue of identity
Large group guide:
- Write down five ways that you tend to reflect, or image, your parents. They could be either seen or unseen, positive or negative characteristics. If you’re daring, go ahead and share your thoughts with them! For extra credit, do this exercise on a friend and how they reflect their parents.
- Create a chain of command structure for Genesis 1–2:4a. The broadest categories you will want to organize are creation in general (to include the beasts of the field), God, and Adam and Eve. Who has dominion over what? What does God delegate to humankind?
- Recruit two of your friends to walk around base for 45 minutes picking up trash. How does this simple act qualify as reflecting the image of God to creation
- Given the high view God has of humankind, make it a point this month to do at least one act of random kindness for 30 consecutive days. Keep a journal entry of your good deeds and see what you learn from it.
What does it mean to be created in God’s image? In the beginning, how was creation, more specifically, how were Adam and Eve’s children, to know God? See if you can summarize your thoughts in a picture or illustration.
Who is someone you know who seems to reflect God’s image well? What qualities about that person do you admire?