At creation God said, “Let us make man in our likeness” (Gen 1:26). That is not primarily a likeness in the physical realm because God is a spirit; rather it is with the capacity to love, think, and plan, having a range of emotions and being able to communicate on an advanced level. The qualities of reason, mortality, morality, creativity and self-worth

Am I growing in the spiritual likeness of Christ?

differentiate us from the animals.  As Christians we are Christ’s representatives portraying Him to the world; we will either make people desirous of knowing God or cause them to reject Him if we are poor ambassadors.  In the numerous vexing situations we face each day, we need to respond correctly.   What reaction am I displaying – a spiritual one that will glorify God or a fleshly response which discredits the power and Lordship of Christ in my life?  We should ‘live out’ the transforming life of Christ within (2 Cor 5:17).

The early church was instructed to put more emphasis on developing lasting, inner, Godly character than having an artificial, transient, outer veneer of impressing others by worldly beauty (1 Pet 3:3).

If I try to impress people with my spirituality and ‘acceptable reputation’ but don’t have personal integrity or a good character I am like the Pharisees who Jesus referred to as being hypocrites, outwardly appearing upright yet on the inside full of unrighteousness. He said by getting the inner attitudes and motivations right the goodness we display on the outside will not be a sham, rather a genuine portrayal of the character within (Mt 23:26-28). “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7).

God’s instruction is not to make or worship any physical images (idols) or gods, as these will turn our devotion away from Him (Ex 20:3-5; Deut 5:8; Rom 1:25).

See also: appearance, character, fashion, idol/idolatry, illustration, self-esteem, self-image, vanity.