Category: Image of God – Imago Dei

Like a tree planted by streams of water

Like a tree planted by streams of water

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water”

Psalm 1 carries such a beautiful picture of the relationship between our ethics and our health and wellbeing. The poet calls us to avoid harmful behaviour but also calls us in a positive sense. Since we are created in God’s image, there is a part of all of us that loves to treat people well. When we spend time reflecting on our own behaviour, and how we can best care for those around us, I suggest that’s us nurturing the image of God in ourselves. It’s just like caring for a garden and can be as beautiful, or as much hard work.

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Jesus talked about the difference between good and bad people with directness and clarity we don’t often hear repeated. He certainly never claimed we could be perfect. He died, willingly, knowing that was the depth of our need for God’s help. But at the same time, Jesus was very clear about standards of behaviour that we could follow, despite our imperfect ethics. He continually reinforced how critical it was for us to follow those standards, for the sake of others.

Deep calls to deep

Deep calls to deep

“Deep calls to deep, in the roar of your waterfalls”

I’ve written earlier about the experience of having significant disagreements with God. I’d like to suggest some of those ongoing disagreements might demonstrate we are listening to his image in us. If we are moved by compassion and concern for others, doesn’t that sound like an expression of the fruit of the Spirit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Made in the image of God

Made in the image of God

Being made in the image of God gives us innate value. One of the clear evils of abuse is disrespect for the image of God in people. Rather, God created us as incredibly precious creatures, and to love and cherish a person involves holding high regard for this being God made.

Sift the lies from the truth

Sift the lies from the truth

We have been looking at some of the ways we can sift the lies from the truth despite the mess created by abuse, and the story of Elijah gives us some clues. Much of what God did with Elijah was simply care for and affirm him. But God also helped Elijah refine his understanding of what was happening around him.

It’s possible Elijah was experiencing some degree of hypervigilance. There was certainly cause for that. Elijah was on the run for his life.

What does it mean to cherish someone?

What does it mean to cherish someone?

What does it mean to cherish someone? It’s a word that is often used in wedding vows, but it is relevant in all our relationships.

When Paul and Timothy wrote to the Colossians, they praised them for the love they held for all people, and that sense of holding love is like cherishing.

He knows you, and delights in you

He knows you, and delights in you

Where is God in the turmoil of abuse, or other trauma? Over and over again, we see people in the Bible asking this question. If you’ve been following this series, we grappled with it in the story of Lazarus. But what about us, now? One of the last things Jesus did...

The dilemma of ongoing, significant disagreement with God

The dilemma of ongoing, significant disagreement with God

Yesterday we started looking at the dilemma of having ongoing, significant disagreement with God. Especially in the context of also relating to an abusive person who claims to be always right. There are a number of psalms and stories in the Bible that share this...

Enduring with God through severe disagreement

Enduring with God through severe disagreement

Those who have been in any abusive relationships might have some exquisitely painful issues in relating to God. It can be extremely complicated, and the last relationship one might want to have complications in. A number of abuse tactics involve the abuser trying to...

They have greatly oppressed me from my youth

They have greatly oppressed me from my youth

“They have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but have not gained the victory over me”

It is common for abuse victims to have to deal with the impact of abuse every day. Even when they have successfully escaped the direct relationship. There are still memories and triggers: mental and emotional injury. There is a need for ongoing vigilance and the complicated, exhausting world of hypervigilance.

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