Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Jesus> Religion: Image Bearers

You want to radically change the way you see others? See them as fellow image bearers – broken just like you, but image bearers nonetheless. We love God by loving His people. – Jefferson Bethke

When I read this, something in me shifted, and my eyes were opened to this reality. The reality that the homeless people I walked past on the streets of London – are image bearers of Jesus. The reality that the people fighting through the messiness of mental illness – are image bearers of Jesus Christ. My eyes opened to the fact that regardless of race, color,  culture, sexual orientation, wealth, talents, looks – we are ALL image bearers of Christ. And what that means is, every single person deserves to be treated with love and respect.

We never know who might be the next world changer. We never know what gifts and talents people have inside them that might just be exactly what this world needs. And as Christians, as followers of Christ, we must encourage those gifts. We must value people, and remind them that they have a purpose, and a reason for being.

I also am struck by the thought that it’s time to stop judging the imperfect image bearers of Christ that are on the platform known as being a ‘celebrity.’ Justin Bieber, for example. This may come as a shock to some of you, but he is an image bearer of Christ. And no, he doesn't always get it right, but neither do WE. We just have the option of hiding our sin and our brokenness from the public eye. It’s time to open our eyes to the fact that regardless of a person’s platform and brokenness, we are called to love.

Beloved, you are an image bearer of Jesus Christ. His DNA is all over you. And friend, His fingerprint is all over the people around you too. When you see someone who is a little different than you, thank God for them. Look for ways to encourage them in their image bearing journey. Remember that being broken doesn't lessen your worth or remove your image bearing identity. Your brokenness can be used by God for His glory in ways you never could have imagined. Surrender. 

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