Dimitrios Pagourtzis stated on his Facebook page he was an atheist, so he did not recognize that the people he brutalized were created in the image of God. The day before the writing of this article, Dimitrios had been the shooter in a horrendous school shooting in the city of Santa Fe, Texas. Ten students are dead, and thirteen are injured. Everyone of those precious young people had value. They had value to their families, and value to God. What we see in this scenario is a young man who placed no value on human life. Void of an understanding of the sound biblical truth that all of us are created in the image of God, this young man had done more than lost his way. He turned into a vicious murderer.
This article is an endeavor to challenge all who read it to lift the value of their family members to the level God sees them at. If we are created in the image of God, then we have value.
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
If you are a man or a woman today you are created in the image of God. Notice it says, “let us create man in our image.” When it says man, it doesn’t mean just men, it means all of mankind. It goes on to say, “let them have dominion”. Dominion means to rule and exercise authority over the earth.
What does it mean to be created in the image of God? It means that in some aspects we are like Him. As men and women, like God, we have intelligence, will, personality, desires. We can make plans and create things. We are to rule this world together. Being created in God’s image doesn’t make us divine, but it does set us apart from the rest of creation.
This verse firmly establishes that God sees men and women as having equal value. Paul builds on this thought in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” What Paul was saying was that In Christ, we all have equal value. Men are not more important than women. Nor are women more important than men.
Women and men are equal in value, equally created in God’s image. Because of that we are to value each other. The value of something is only established by what someone is actually willing to pay for it.
You can tell me that your old jalopy of a car is worth $20,000 but until you sell it for that I may not believe you or there is no real way to prove that, but if you show me the bill of sale and the cash that you got from selling the car, the car was worth that $20,000.
Every person created in the image of God is proved to be valuable because God was willing to give one of his most precious Sons to redeem them from sin. God placed such value on you that he gave his only Son for you. Jesus placed such value on you that he was willing to suffer and die for you. The same is true of our family members.
Everyone has value, even that one that struggles with addictions in your family. They are valuable to God. Other might throw them out or throw them away, but God sees what they can become with his help. That one that is constantly unemployed and needy. They have value. Why? Because people matter.
One of the things that happens in families that causes a world of hurt and pain is that we stop valuing one another. We start taking each other for granted. We start treating each other in ways that we never should. We use language, sometimes even cuss words against one another and when we do we are not honoring that person.
Sometimes it is difficult to tell the person the truth. However, even in conflict or arguments to see the value in that other person.
I will never forget one of the seminars I attended on marriage and the speaker had a very valuable violin on stage. It is known as a Stradivarius. It was a rare violin worth a lot of money. He explained how would never intentionally hurt it or harm it in any way. Why? Because of its great value. He said that when we see our wife, or son, or daughter, or parent. We are to see them with the value God has placed on them and we can think – Stradivarius! Every single one of your family members ave an inherent value.
First of all, they are created in God’s image.
Secondly, if they are a believer, they have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.
Are you seeing your family members that way? Dads and moms, do you view your children as created in the image of God and that they are highly valuable to God? Husbands and wives, do you see your spouses as having value simply because they are created in God’s image? It is time to honor all of those around us and start seeing them as special creations of God, each one being loved and valued enough that Christ would die for them. This simple truth would have stopped Dimitrios if he had seen them this way.
The next time you start thinking less of yourself, walk into the bathroom, look in the mirror and say t yourself: I am created in the image of God! I am worth more to God than a Stradivarius.