More Than The Sum of Our Labels

More Than The Sum of Our Labels

“So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

Every human being, each and every one of us, is made in the image and likeness of God. For some of you, reading that line makes someone pop into your head who you look at and say, “Well, surely you mean everyone but them.” I cannot count the number of times I have been in a conversation with someone who wants to know if that includes bloody dictators and serial killers and the like… to which I have to say, yes. Absolutely. Every human being is made in the image and likeness of God. 

Now that doesn’t mean that every human being is full of love and kindness, seeking to be gracious and merciful. But it does mean that each one of us, even the person who popped into your mind back at the beginning, is a human being made in the image of God. 

These days we tend to judge people based on a label thrust upon them because of an opinion they have expressed or a cause they have supported. “She’s a gun nut.” “He’s a feminist.” “They’re pro-choice.” We reduce the individual to their label, and when we do that, we dehumanize them. When the people around us become less than human in our minds, that makes it easier to mock them on the internet or refuse to listen when they are speaking. They become faceless enemies, easy to dismiss or attack. 

However, when we view others as bearers of God’s image, everything changes. Though we still may not agree with or like each other, we start to recognize that every person we encounter is someone who carries the spark of the divine within them, someone whom God loves so much that Christ came to save them. It becomes much, much harder to ignore or brush each other off.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that we are, all of us, created in the image of God. If we can begin and end our interactions with each other with that in mind, we will be on our way to a more peaceful world. We will be giving each other back our humanity. We will exit the echo chambers we have created and find a way to create the better world we all dream about. 

Seeking to re-humanize, 

Pastor Mike 

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