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Family Resemblance

Read: Genesis 1:20-31

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (v. 27)

“Who do you think she looks like more?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question since my daughter was born. Everyone tries to pinpoint the family resemblance. On the one hand, she looks like both of us, with her father’s curly hair but my eyes and smile. On the other hand, it’s too early to say how she’ll come to resemble us when she’s fully grown. We’re a little bit like that when it comes to bearing the likeness of God.

As we’re adopted into the family of God, we grow and mature into a greater likeness of Christ. A family resemblance emerges like a photo developing in a dark room. As we pattern our lives after his example, by loving God and our neighbors, Christ’s image is revealed in our thoughts, in our emotional lives, and in our actions. By his grace, we come to look more and more like him.

Still, as with my daughter, our fully grown appearance as image bearers of Christ remains a mystery. Paul wrote, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12). On this side of eternity, the photo never fully develops. But even if our knowledge of God and self remains dim, we rest in the assurance that the God “who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). —Elise Johnson

As you pray, ask to look more and more like Christ.

About the Author

Elise Johnson is a creative writer and professional communications consultant living in Toronto, Canada with her husband Andrew, an Anglican priest, and her daughter Beatrice. Her writing explores life as a new mom, being a minister’s wife, and more.

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