Saturday, September 6, 2008

Worldview Leadership: Origins, Part 2

Last week I introduced both the concept of worldview and the question "where did I come from." This week I'd like to continue answering that very important question. In the Judeo-Christian worldview, humanity's origins are found in God himself. In fact, we are made in God's image. In Genesis 1:26, God says "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature" (translated in Eugene Peterson's The Message). In The Expositor's Bible Commentary, John Sailhamer points out that during the previous acts of creation in Genesis 1, God says, "let there be." Now God says, "Let us make." God takes a personal interest in the creation of humanity, allowing humanity to somehow reflect part of him.

There are two major implications here for servant-leaders. First: there are no complete idiots. Really.

There are certainly some really frustrating people out there. Yes, sometimes there are really frustrating people in our organizations that we lead. And yes, they may do some idiotic things. But no, they are not complete idiots. Consider Jesus' warning in Matthew 5:22 (and to be frustrating, I'm going to let you look that one up). Somehow, even frustrating people bear the image of God. That image deserves respect.

Implication number two: even when you mess up, and I mean really mess up, you are still not a complete failure. In spite of your failures, you too bear the image of God. And that image is worthy of some self-respect.

This two-fold implication of being made in God's image is one reason Jesus can say, "love your neighbor as yourself." When we do this, we affirm the goodness of God's creation. Although that goodness is marred by the Fall of humanity (see Genesis 3), there is still something in every person that is worthy of respect.

IDEA LEADERS: (1) Among those you lead, in whom do you most clearly see God's image at work? Why? (2) In whom do you least see God's image? Why? (3) How does the fact that you are made in God's image change the way you view your failures?

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