What does it mean to be made in the image of God? In Greek, there are two words for image. One is eikon. But the other word for image is rather interesting. That word is charakter. We use the same word in English. When we speak of someone’s character, we are talking about the type of moral qualities that they have. We are speaking of their integrity and trustworthiness. A person of exemplary character is a person who can be described as good. Isn’t that how God created the world and everything in it? God saw that it was all very good (Gen 1:31). But then sin came into the world and corrupted that goodness.
But God came up with a solution. Through Jesus, He could cause us to be “conformed to the image of his Son (Rom 8:29).” He transforms us into his image (2 Cor 3:18). He has given us of His Spirit for a “seal (Eph 1:13).” A seal bears the image of his owner. So the Spirit helps to restore the image of God in us by strengthening us (Eph 3:16).
It has been said that we may be the only sermon a person ever sees. We bear the imprint of our Heavenly creator. We were made and re-made in His image.
The image of God, our “character” shows in some of the subtlest situations. We often may not even be aware of when our character shows. When you are aware that you received too much change from the cashier, your character will show. When you are among co-workers who are known for crudeness and vulgarity, your character will show. When you are wronged, your character will show. I’m sure you can think of many situations where your character will show.
So the question is this. What kind of character, or “image” do I portray? Is it the image of God?