Imago Dei. A fancy Latin way of saying
Image of God.
It's kind of fun to say, and may even make you sound smart which is important if you're blonde.
Imago Dei is a foundational belief in Christianity. When it is understood and applied it effects how we live and reflect God's image.
Why do I value it?
As a human race we are creative because God is creative.
We love beauty because God loves beauty.
We have a sense of order and justice because God does.
We love to laugh because God is fun.
We strive to do good, because God is good.
We seek meaningful relationships because God is in perfect complete relationship within the trinity.
We crave communication because God communicates and revealed himself to us.
We ALL mirror his image, although we have become shattered mirrors distorting what was.
We are made in his image but we are not, and never will be, gods ourselves.
There are many attributes of God that are unique and belong only to Him.
If we genuinely believe that humans are made in the image of God, that we mirror his attributes, that we are created intentionally, with eternal significance, than it will change how we treat each other.
How would my life look different?
If we truly believe the doctrine of Imago Dei then there is no room for racism or bigotry. There is no room for "I am better than you", "don't waste your money" or "They aren't worth my time" because Jesus died for all people, each shattered reflection, so that we could once again mirror his glory and receive a reconciled relationship with him.
If we could look at the weak, poor, young, old, black, white, unborn, sick, and disabled in light of the very basic doctrine Imago Dei how different would our lives and priorities be?
It would mean that we honor and give dignity to all human life. The homeless guy on the corner. The drug addicted baby abandoned in a hospital. The emaciated child dying alone in a foreign country. The person living with a debilitating disability. The infant waiting to be born. Why?
Why are they worth my time,
In the worlds eyes, in terms of evolutionary progress, we should leave them behind.
Let nature take it's course.
Eliminate those that are not planned, perfect, and productive.
Sacrifice some for whatever we see as the "greater good" of human progression.
Even the baby boy who will never utter a word , or stand on his feet, reflects something of God to this Earth, something that we will miss if we cast him aside, or have him exterminated.
We are also commanded to reflect God to him with mercy, empathy, compassion and love.
In doing so we are not only honoring that life but we are honoring the one who created it.
In order for this doctrine to become more than just cold knowledge, in order to have more than just good intentions, I need to have God's authentic love breathing through me.
Loving the unlovely takes more than mere human effort.
Even then, I am only a vague reflection.
I so often overlook opportunities to reflect Him, because I'm so focused on my own reflection.