The best way - the only way - to know ourselves is to know God. "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9). He originally made us in His image for the purpose of reflecting His person, character, nature, and way (Genesis 1:26-27). God created human beings to serve as the spiritual and moral mirrors of Himself. The entrance of sin into the world gravely damaged this primary reason for our being. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, however, God initiates a redeeming work in all who believe in the Savior that will ultimately result in our conformity to the image of our Maker. "When He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).
Mirrors exist to reflect the image of things other than themselves. We exist to absorb and reflect the light of God. He made us as conscious beings who must respond to Him in order to serve as reflections of His Person. This involves the knowledge of who He is, and then, the knowledge of ourselves. As we increasingly discover His character and way, we discover who we are and more accurately fulfill our God-reflecting reason for being. We frequently quote the Apostle Paul's teaching to the Corinthians regarding this dynamic process of growth into the image of Christ:
"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).
We must know this primary reason for our existence, namely, to glorify God by serving as mirror images of Him. Thus, we must grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus in order to faithfully "walk even as He walked" (I John 2:6). Thereby He engages our "fearfully and wonderfully made" human faculties for their primary purpose of displaying God's fearful and wonderful eternal being (Psalm 139:14). Our world should behold the Creator's character, nature, and way in us. Our attitudes, words, deeds, and relating to people serve as the lamps of His Light as the Spirit of God ignites our human faculties, and then sends us forth to illuminate the darkness of a fallen world. "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27).
The truth of our existence as mirrors beckons us to first look upward, outward, and away to know the Lord. Subsequently, we return our gaze to ourselves with a proper self-perception that enables us to serve as the reflections of God. "Reckon ye also yourself to be… alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). Mirrors concern themselves with absorbing and accurately displaying the image they exist to reflect. In this light, theology, the knowledge of God, precedes anthropology, the knowledge of humanity. In fact, the study of God constitutes the only way we can rightly study humanity. We will never know ourselves while seeking to know ourselves. We rather discover who we are by knowing the One we exist to reflect. Blessed relief descends upon those who devote themselves to this reality of who God is, and who we are in relationship to Him. Only in the light of such Truth can we know both Him and ourselves.
"This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
"As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly."
(I Corinthians 15:49)
Weekly Memory Verse
Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.