There’s always a stack of books beside my bed, some read and not ready to be sent away, and some to be read, and then there is that top one, the one I am currently reading. Right now that one is Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image by Hannah Anderson, 2014. Honestly I cannot remember when I got it, but I am so glad I did.The author begins by discussing how we identify ourselves and how this shapes our lives, our choices, how we understand ourselves. Then she talks about how this becomes a significant problem because it is like looking so hard at the details that we miss the big picture – think focusing so hard on a plant that we miss the forest. She establishes early on that her primary audience is women; then she says the following:
"This book is not a call to deny womanhood in order to embrace being made in His image. But it is a call to understand that womanhood and everything that comes with it serves a greater purpose…It is a call to wrestle with what it means to be made in His image and to believe that you are made for more than what you often settle for.”What I love is how this book goes along with one I am using in my “Quiet Time,” A Year With God: Living Out the Spiritual Disciplines. The chapter I am currently wandering through is about spiritual service, serving God in every task, and here is where the two kind of run together. The challenge is to see everything we do as an act of service to God, whether it is washing the dishes, cleaning the house or changing the tire. Then move out of the house and consider how we related to others as an act of service to God: how we behave toward the person ahead of us with 30 items in the 20 item lane or the one who swoops in and takes the parking place we have been waiting for…or someone facing real challenges, like the loss of a loved one.
Do we even think of these things as opportunities for an act of worship or service or have we left that kind of thinking at home, when we closed the door behind us. We make those decisions based on how we have come to understand ourselves: are we a woman, a retiree, a grandmother, a school teacher or are we an Image bearer?I’ve been reading Anderson’s book without a pen, and now I recognize that was a mistake. I think I will go back to the beginning tonight with one. One section I underlined already this morning was the following: “Most of the time we associate legalism with strict adherence to a specific set of rules, but legalism is not simply choosing the letter of the law over the spirit. Legalism is any attempt to model God’s attributes apart from a relationship with Him. Legalism is trying to be an image bearer without relying on the Image. (78)
These words made me wonder how many times I have walked out of the house or into a store or even into church, forgetting that I am an image bearer, and especially without being conscious that I can and should be relying on and living like the One Whose Image I carry.