Reflections by Dr. Teston
A Fellowship Christian School Blog
Dear Fellowship Family,
Last week, in our Rooted series, I highlighted the first characteristic of our Portrait of a Graduate: Truth Seeker. This characteristic is foundational to all of the others as it leads believers to know with certainty that Jesus is who He claimed to be – our Savior and the promised Messiah. He is the One who gives purpose to our lives and His Truth frames our perspective and decisions. This leads to the second characteristic we focus on at Fellowship: Image Bearer.
We’ve defined an Image Bearer as one who "embraces, with confidence, the assurance and self-awareness of being created uniquely in God's image for His purpose." 2 Corinthians 3:18 states, "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." How can we mortal beings be like Jesus if we’re to be conformed to His image? Perhaps if we lived during the time of Christ, we’d have a better idea of what that might mean; however, here we are 2000 years later wrestling with this concept.
Have you ever said to your children, "When you leave this house, remember that you are representing the [Last Name] family"? Many of you may have gently reminded your middle schoolers of this as you dropped them off for Camp Highland this week. We are so intentional about the way our children represent our image because we believe that they are a reflection of us. And, in a sense, they are. While they may share a likeness to us in eye color or physical stature, they are more importantly individual Image Bearers of their Creator. It’s His likeness that they – and we – should imitate.
To be an Image Bearer is to reflect His character and nature. Trying to name all the traits of His perfect and complete nature would certainly fall short of His glory, but perhaps a good starting point is remembering the promise of the Christ-like character the Holy Spirit will produce in us as we yield to His control of our hearts and minds: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).
What a great privilege to help children understand that, because they’re made in God’s image, they reflect His glory as Image Bearers. With that privilege also comes the responsibility to bear His image (likeness) well. As we seek to develop Image Bearers, we might ask ourselves:
- How do others experience us as Image Bearers? What picture of God are we painting for others to see?
- Are others drawn to the character of Christ manifested in us through our words and actions, or are there times that there’s little resemblance to the One we call Father?
- How clearly do we reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the way God loves, values, and treats others?
- What message are we communicating to our children by the way we talk about other people? Do represent His image of peace, patience, kindness, gentleness?
The good news is we’re not left to ourselves to work this out on our own. In God’s goodness, He gave believers the Holy Spirit to indwell and fill us, enabling us to reflect our Father. May He take root in all of our hearts as we seek to represent well His image and glory to others.
Striving to represent His character well,
Dr. Kathryn M. Teston
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Dr. Kathryn M. Teston