Let’s rewind humanity’s story way back to the beginning. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ … So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26–27, ESV).
My brain doesn’t know what to do with this. I don’t know how to process this mystery. God’s image displayed in my life. How can that be? How can there be such a compelling connection between God’s heart and my humanity? Especially when I know me. I know that on my best, most holy day, I don’t come close to being imago Dei, the image of God.
Even so, the Bible says that you and I are made in God’s image (v. 27), and that Jesus is the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3).
When I think about what it means to reflect the image of God in the world, I’m reminded of the signet ring my mother used to wear. When I was a little girl, I loved looking at my mom’s hands. Her fingers were elegant, long, and slender. On her left hand she wore a simple, gold wedding band that was eight millimeters thick. No diamond, just the band. And on her right hand, she wore a gold signet ring that she got when she was eighteen.
I always wanted a wedding ring and a signet ring just like hers.
The signet ring had a monogram of her surname: A for Adams, not E for Eisaman (her married name). The ring was a bridge that connected who she was to who she is. I loved that. Loved that mom wore two symbols representing the spectrum of her identity. She grew up an Adams and will always be an Adams. She married an Eisaman and became an Eisaman. Her signet ring left me with an impression that echoed her identity.
I did some research and found the following parallels between signet rings and what it means to be an image bearer of God.
Signet rings were used for a purpose: to authenticate a letter or message. Believers are called to showcase God’s glory by authenticating the hope of Christ to the world. Jesus said, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8 NIV).
Signet rings were also used to leave an imprint, a distinct impression that validated that the message being delivered was genuine. Jesus kicked it up a few notches for His followers by telling us that the love we show to one another authenticates faith. He was talking to His disciples when He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35 NIV).
Do you see? You and I are signet rings for God.
We are to authenticate His love and leave an imprint of His hope—no matter what compromising assignment our bosses give us, no matter what carrot of temptation is dangled before us, no matter what argument that person tries to bait us into, no matter… no matter… no matter.
The apostle Peter said it this way, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:15–16 NIV).
Let’s be prepared to give an answer today.
Let’s live to love and leave an imprint of hope.
As we step into this calling to live out the love and hope of Jesus, the lost, discouraged, and hopeless around us will see a reflection of Him.
Dear Lord, Thank You for making me in Your image and for giving me a hope to hold on to and share. Would You help me to be Your image bearer today?
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
What’s one way you can authenticate God’s love to the world as His image bearer today?
Who is the Lord bringing to your heart regarding this message? What will you do about it?