One day, my eldest came home from school looking concerned. After I asked what was the matter, she replied, “Mommy, I wish I look like you.” Although she was genuinely perturbed, I thought it was so cute. She wanted to look like me! It was her desire to bear my resemblance — that genuinely touched my heart. It made me feel that she was truly my own daughter.
God made us to be like Him, to be in His image. Genesis 5:1 says, “…When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.” Bearing God’s image was a privilege given only to His children. Genesis 5:3 emphasizes this principle by saying, “When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.” Problem is, not all Christians want to look like Him.
One of the most prevalent idols I have seen in Christians these days is the need to carry their own preferred image, an image that is more likable, respectable, and lovable to the world. You may love Jesus, but you may also have a desperate need to be “that guy with that job” or “that girl living her best life.” It’s an idol that can so subtly exist within our hearts that we may not always be aware of how much we serve it. That is why money, career accomplishments, physical appearances, and status are all significant thorns to a believer.
God gave us the Holy Spirit so that we can be like Christ. Yet, so many believers prefer to look like someone else… someone that is accomplished and has an Instagram-friendly lifestyle. Our idolatrous images can even seem holy! It may be a desire to become an accomplished Christian or even a gifted one. I have ministered to those who longed to be a powerful preacher or an influential leader. And although this seemed harmless in the beginning, they later realized that they desired these things above God Himself. These standards became a major stumbling block to their faith. Rather than living by the fruit of your faith in Christ, you end up living with comparison, jealousy, low self-esteem, and striving.
Jesus Christ did not die on the cross just so that we could become impressive people. He died on the cross so that we could be His people.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)