A Sharper Image

“It’s getting clearer now. I can see it better.” Have you ever said something like that after your eyes were dilated at the optician’s office? The Lord created mankind after His image. Men and women reflect the image, countenance, and person of the Lord Himself.

Humanity is a special creation of God. Mankind is different from all other created things – we are made in the image of God. We can have a special relationship with the Lord through His Son, Jesus.

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

Genesis 1:27

“Imago Dei” is the Latin phrase many people use to describe these Hebrew words. Imago Dei means “image of God.” After sin entered this world, the image is distorted. Like the dilation of the eyes, the image of mankind (looking like the Lord) is more complicated and hard to see.

Despite the curse of sin, the Christian can choose to become more like Christ and to look more like Him each day. The books we read, the films we watch, the news we listen to, the church we attend, the work we do, the classes we take, and the friends we keep will greatly influence our potential to look more like the Lord. Speaking of friends, Proverbs says:

Iron sharpeneth iron; So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

​I have several sharpening steels. I can use these portable steels to sharpen my knives anywhere I am. Some have diamonds encrusted in the steel to make it a hard surface to cause friction on the knife I am sharpening. The sharpener material is harder than the steel I am sharpening. I also enjoy using a benchtop grinder. The grinding wheel has elements in it that are stronger and harder than the blades I am working on – so it sharpens them.

We need friends who are stronger than us, spiritually speaking. We can be friends with others who may be spiritually weaker than us with the intent of sharpening them. Some are sharper in some spiritual areas than we are and vice-versa. Something to think about – a friend has the potential to sharpen your countenance. “Countenance” is the Hebrew פָּנֶה (paneh) which means “face or faces.” Since we are created in the image of God, this creation of humanity also bears resemblance to the features of God including the face of God.

The goal of our best friendships is to sharpen each other to be more like Jesus.

A good friend, who loves the Lord, can sharpen your life to help you look more like the Lord. Your countenance, face, facial expression, and entire being can be impacted positively by having good, healthy, and righteous friends.

The Every Day Carry Christian will carry these thriving skills:

  1. Be a friend who sharpens others to be more like Jesus. Share spiritual sharpening skills with others; Bible reading, prayer, faithfulness to participate in church, finding ways to serve others, being faithful to your family, developing a good work ethic, not giving up, fighting temptation, and becoming accountable, just to name a few ideas.
  2. Have friends who encourage and challenge you to be more like Jesus. It’s OK to say the hard thing. It’s healthy to challenge another to greatness. It’s good practice to discuss difficult things to grow and develop your relationship with one another and with God.
  3. Be the one, with God’s grace, who stays sharp for Jesus. Pray for and plan for this. Maintaining a sharper image is like maintaining a sharp knife blade. With use, the knife becomes dull; but with consistent and purposefull sharpening friction on the steel, the knife – and the life can maintain its sharpness.

The goal of our best friendships is to sharpen each other to be more like Jesus.

Published by Pastor Steve

Steve enjoys reading the scriptures and action novels, spending time with his family, listening to music, drinking Dunkin' coffee and watching New York Yankees baseball and Memphis Grizzlies basketball. He and his wife Natalie have been married over 20 years and are blessed with three children. Together, Steve and Natalie are thankful for each opportunity the Lord has given, and they desire to “serve the Lord with gladness” while seeing people trust Jesus and grow in their relationship with the Lord. The Lord has blessed Steve with several educational experiences including a Bachelor of Bible at Pensacola Christian College, a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Mid-America Theological Seminary, a Master of Ministry (M.Min.), and a Ph.D. of Religion (in Counseling) from Bethany Divinity Seminary. He is also a Board-Certified Christian Counselor (BCPPC) and a SYMBIS facilitator. He is available for special conferences and training sessions.

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