Looking for God in Our Relationships

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” - Genesis 1:27 (NLT) 

Do you realize that you have seen a glimpse of God today?

Every time you look into the face of another human being, you get a glimpse of God. It is one of the ways He chooses to reveal Himself.

We know we can learn about God’s heart and character through the Bible, through prayer, through church, and through nature. But perhaps we have overlooked or dismissed the way we can know more of who He is simply through our interactions with other people.

If you asked most Christians if they truly believe we are all made in the image of God, they would likely be quick to say yes. It’s a fundamental tenet of our faith; we know what the creation account in Genesis says. But when someone lets us down, hurts us, lives a lifestyle we don’t agree with, or has different opinions from ours—do we still see the image of God in them?

This can be painfully hard. After all, God is perfect, but people are not—far from it. Too often, though, the broken aspects of our relationships keep us from seeing evidence of God in others. We stop looking for Him in those hurt places. But, as difficult as it might be, the deliberate choice to look for God’s fingerprints on someone may be the very thing that allows healing and restoration to begin to come.

It can be sometimes be easier to consider God’s image in someone whom we respect and admire—a spiritual leader, a trusted friend, a selfless hero. However, it’s important to remember that even people we don’t like and don’t agree with, even the worst of sinners, are also created in God’s image. This perspective allows us to walk in grace, compassion and humility. It allows us to partner with God in the redemptive work of speaking life into people and calling forth their destinies.

Our relationships take work; they require wisdom that is beyond our own. Fortunately, God promises to freely give His wisdom to anyone who asks (see James 1:5). The effort is worthwhile because it means experiencing new depths of God’s love, both for ourselves and others.

Every relationship we have, every human interaction is an opportunity to discover another aspect of God’s heart. Our understanding of Him is deepened when we begin to intentionally look for Him in the people He has placed in our lives, and our relationships flourish when we gain God’s perspective and insight for navigating them.

As believers, we should desire to love people well and to pursue healthy relationships. This is our prayer over you as you begin to ask God for fresh eyes to see the people He has placed in your life:

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. - Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT)

Reflection:

  1. Has there ever been a time in your life when God distinctly used another person to reveal His heart toward you? What aspects of God’s character did you see displayed through their actions? How did it impact your life?

  2. Are you dealing with a challenging or difficult relationship in your life? Is it possible God is wanting to teach you something through this situation? Take some time to pray over this—admit your frustration and ask God for fresh perspective and grace to deal with this relationship.

  3. Have you had a difficult time being able to forgive someone who has hurt you? Ask God to show you His image in that person. It might be hard to accept at first, but this can be an important step in your freedom from the burden of hurt.

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