Posted 05 Jul 2013
‘The universe is not an impersonal “thing,” but rather the planned expression of God’s might and power and personality.
Genesis also explains man as being the focus and pinnacle of Creation—a creature made in the image of God and thereby vested both with significance and a derived glory. Man cannot be understood unless he is seen as irrevocably related to the eternal, though temporarily occupying space and time. Because man is made in God’s image, each individual is of vital importance to God and special to Him.
So these earliest chapters of Scripture, represented by Adam in the genealogies, introduce us to ourselves and to our identity. They explain why each of us stands in need of a vital relationship with God. Without such a relationship to the God whose image we bear, each of us is incomplete. God made us for Himself, and we are restless and ill at ease apart from Him.’ – The Teacher’s [Bible] Commentary.
I particularly noticed a sentence in that quote: ‘each individual is of vital importance to God and special to Him’… it is very easy to either UNDERSTATE or OVERESTIMATE our own importance.
UNDERESTIMATION: On the one hand, if we are “down” on ourselves, we can wrongly conclude that we don’t matter at all. That is NOT what God says about us. Those of us who tend towards self-deprecation, & further towards self-denunciation forget that we are made in the image of God, by a mighty, holy God. We are his handiwork, & it is wrong to underplay our own importance, as defined by God himself in the Bible. It can be a struggle to correctly see ourselves & gain the correct view of our own importance. But do that we must, to avoid the more unpleasant aspects of underestimating our own worth, to ourselves, to others & most especially to God himself.
OVERESTIMATION: Then there is the other side of that coin; people who think too highly of themselves. Pride & arrogance are in that direction; self-delusion, blindness to errors/faults in our own thinking, narcissism even. To think too highly of ourselves, & of our race of human beings puts our whole planet’s survival at risk. We are a part, not APART from our world. We are important, but so is everything else on our world; nothing is insignificant. We should hold all things in reverent esteem, always giving thanks to God for what we have.
The middle ground, sometimes difficult to maintain & ALWAYS requiring our continual effort & refocus to remain within; there is the truth. We are important to God, unique & special to Him. Without unnatural, self-destructive self-deprecation, or, equally, without overestimating our own importance (with pride & arrogance) we can strike that dynamic, God-focussed, balanced middle position, where both our true identity & true position in the Cosmic order is to be found. We are not less important, nor more important than anyone else, nor anything else. We are all bound up in an intricate, inter-dependent “dance of life”, ultimately responsible to God, our creator & sustainer, for all that we are, have & do. Out of reverence for all other life we should guard against underestimating or overestimating our own importance. ‘Each individual is of vital importance to God and special to Him’… I can’t argue with that!
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