Anyone who has talked with me much concerning the Christian’s task in the world can attest that I firmly think that all the evangelism, social action, care-taking of our possessions, can be wrapped up in one phrase – Image Bearing.
Jesus Christ came and manifested The Father to us. He only did what He saw The Father doing. We, as sons/daughters of God The Father must also be about our Father’s business. Many times we only pay attention on one thing The Father is doing and then we set out to do it with all our might. This is admirable, but still faulty. We are not bearing God’s image as we should if we are only imitating Him partially. For example, some get all caught up on social action. They are concerned with feeding the starving, providing medical help to the sick, helping raise the level of clean living for the poor while neglecting the gospel. Others are all for giving the gospel, but are unwilling (or fail to see the importance) to give of themselves to make needed changes socially. Both sides who are exclusive to their own view are not fully imaging God as His people are to do. For us to image God, we must be constantly watching Him, which is difficult. It’s far easier to get an agenda and then take our eyes of God and put them on the task at hand. As soon as we do that, we begin to reflect ourselves more than our Savior.
I believe N.T. Wright gives a good illustration of what it is to be God’s image bearer. So here it is.