The first humans were created in “the image and likeness” of God. This image was marred as a result of the fall, but is under construction yet again due to the fact that we are new creations in Christ Jesus.
The New Testament and the Old Testament are perfectly correlated as far as our reason for being is concerned. From the beginning God’s purpose for you and I was to exist in the image of God.
But there is a catch. In order to be transformed into this image, we need to “behold” it first. The word is not one we use in everyday English, but can be roughly translated as “looking with intent”.
Why? Sociologists and anthropologists may provide the answer. The process of human growth and maturation is dependent on an intricate process of identification with a “role model”, they tell us. This may be confirmed by the fascinating studies that have been done on so-called “feral children”, that is, children whose primary caretakers, during their formative years, were animals.
Feral children take on the characteristics of the animals that raised them. They typically walk on all fours, have short lifespans, develop many of the same sensitivities and oftentimes suffer from telltale growth deformities.
We become like our role models. We become like those we look up to. We identify with them and in the process trigger a magical transference of qualities that are characteristic to them.
It is the same spiritually. We become what we behold. The most important song on planet earth may very well be the classic Irish hymn: “Be thou my vision…”
Who, or what, are you beholding?