Michael Lawson says, “Many find themselves involved in a confused inner struggle, aiming to resolve the deeply important question ‘Who am I?’ The question is often perceived in emotional, rather than intellectual terms. 29 gods imageUnfortunately, at the feelings level there is no easy response. Straightforward answers, capable of being put into a sentence or two, are more likely to touch the world of intellectual fact only, rather than satisfy the inner existential cravings of a longing of spirit.” One of my favorite authors, Francis Schaeffer dealt with this question in his work. He begins by pointing out that we were created in God’s image according to Genesis 1:26. He writes, “What differentiates Adam and Eve from the rest of creation is that they were created in the image of God. For twentieth-century man this phrase, the image of God, is as important as anything in Scripture, because men today can no longer answer that crucial question, ‘Who am I?’”

Schaeffer goes on to explain that “with an evolutionary concept of a mechanical, chance parade from the atom to man, man has lost his unique identity. As he looks out upon the world, as he faces the machine, he cannot tell himself from what he faces. He cannot distinguish himself from other things.”

But not so for the believer! Schaeffer’s explanation has ministered to me many times over the past 30 years since my conversion to Christ. While I was one of many modern men and women who identified themselves as just another mechanical collection of atoms made up of the mud and the sun and the scum, coming to Christ changed everything for me. Schaeffer writes, “Quite in contrast, a Christian does not have this problem. He knows who he is. If anything is a gift of God, this is it — knowing who you are. As a Christian, I know my differentiation. I can look at the most complicated machine that men have made so far or ever will make and realize that though the machine may do some things that I cannot do, I am different from it. If I see a machine that is stronger than I am, it doesn’t matter. If it can lift a house, I am not disturbed. If it can run faster than I can, its speed doesn’t threaten me. If I am faced with a giant computer which can never be beaten when it plays checkers — even when I realize that never in history will I or any man be able to beat it — I am not crushed. Others may be overwhelmed intellectually and psychologically by the fact that a man can make a machine that can beat him at his own games, but not the Christian. The Christian knows that in the flow of history, man comes from a different origin. …Consequently, I should be thankful for the comprehension given here in Genesis — that in the flow of history man has been made in the image of God, for it gives an intellectual, emotional and psychological basis to my understanding of who I am.”