The Distorted Image & Glimpses of Glory

If you’re a Christian, you believe in the doctrine of sin. You believe sin entered the world because Adam & Eve yielded to Satan’s (serpent) temptation transgressing God’s command in Genesis 3.  You believe in what is commonly known as the fall of man.  Genesis 1:26-27 tell us that God created mankind in His image. To be created in God’s image is to be created with the ability to image God in specific ways, but not in every way.  We were created to image God in essence and in function.  Like God, man is a rational and moral being. We were created with the ability to think, reason, emote, etc. As God is the Ultimate Authority, He tasked man to have dominion over the animal kingdom (Gen. 1:26) and to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). In other words, he called man to have authority over all creation as a reflection of His ultimate authority.  However, when sin entered the world, man fell from his right relationship with God, the state of innocence and the moral perfection he was created in.  Because of his sin, Adam and his progeny (that’s you and me) reflect a distorted image of God.

 imago dei

Lately, my wife and I have enjoyed watching a television program titled Undercover Boss.  Undercover Boss is a show that portrays CEOs or owners of companies who seek to gain some insight about the health of their companies  by going undercover as an employee. By interacting with other employees, the undercover boss has a ground level perspective to see if the companies’ objectives are being effectively and appropriately accomplished.  One of the catches of the show is that usually the employees have had or are going through some type of trial that tugs at the heart of the boss and the viewing audience.  At the end of the show, the undercover boss reveals himself to some of his employees and evaluates them based on their work ethics. Perhaps the climax of the show is not in the revelation of the identity, but the rewards given to the employees. The undercover bosses handsomely reward their valued employees with vacations, paid training, or large sums of cash (upwards of $100K) for personal improvement or enjoyment as an expression of gratitude. I admit, the reactions of the employees being rewarded so handsomely does something to me. In fact, my wife has been known to shed a tear or two.  We both are amazed at the extreme kindness of the givers (bosses) and at the reactions of the receivers (employees).  But why? Why do we both, and probably so many others, really enjoy that moment?  I believe in that moment, we are seeing glimpses of glory. Let me explain.

God is exhilaratingly benevolent and graciously gives from the treasures of His wealth (don’t think of money here) to His children.  Think of all the blessings we have in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14).  God is a giving God and no one can out give Him (Rom. 8:32). So when we see acts of kindness exhibited toward others, even those who do not know the Lord, I believe we are seeing glimpses of God’s glory.  As I stated earlier, sin has distorted the image of God in man, not destroyed it.  Sure, the motives of kindness or philanthropic endeavors can be impure; I am well aware. Corruption has radically spread to all parts of us as humans, but man is not totally corrupt unable to do any good to others (Lk. 6:32-34) and unable to appreciate “good” when he sees it or receives it.

The good experienced in this sin filled and distorted world is a gift of God’s grace, which should make the unconverted curious about why good is good and its origin. It should also cause the believer to worship and long for the day when glimpses will become a full uninterrupted view as we gaze upon our Savior (Jhn. 17:24, 1 Jhn. 3:2).

Grace & Peace,