(The image of God)
Two seemingly unrelated things made a connection for me this week.
Firstly, my girlfriend (wife) of over five decades was browsing what Facebook calls “memories” and came across a photograph of me. The photograph was not well-composed, a piano lid obscured parts of me, it had other people in it, it was not centered vertically or horizontally and was not particularly well lit. But she liked it. She liked it so much she asked if I would print it for her!
I did, but all the other stuff was distracting. She just wanted the “me” part.
So knowing I am not lacking in computer skills, she wanted me to “extract” myself from the background and straighten myself up and draw attention to my eyes! Before you think you’re trapped in some unrealistic romantic novel, she also wanted me to remove an unsightly red spot on my nose she did not find particularly attractive! Through the magic of Pixelmator all these things were eventually accomplished. Then she said she wanted a “proper” photograph, printed and framed.
So I sent off the jpg file, ordered a frame, matt, non-reflective glass, and gave a credit card number. And, lo and behold! A few days later, FedEx delivered a package for her.
Thankfully she is pleased. “It’s just you!”, she said. “No it’s not!”, I said, “I am standing next to you looking at it”. (Sadly, I’m pathetically pedantic that way.) “But it’s your eyes!”, she exclaimed. I didn’t want to ruin a good thing by pointing out that actually my eyes were looking at a picture of my eyes!
The second thing that captured my interest was a news report that an engineer at Google had become convinced that a piece of artificial intelligence (AI) programming he was working on had become self-aware and was now a sentient being. He wanted to make sure that its “human rights” were being protected. He was trying to teach it transcendental meditation!
The company has disclaimed any truth to his beliefs and are compassionately getting help and support for him. But before you scoff, let me point out that computers already exceed human capabilities in a myriad a ways we just take for granted. We already use computers to write computer programs that it would take humans centuries to replicate by hand. I am also convinced that sometime in the future we will create programs that can function with human levels of “intelligence”.
But they can never be “human”. They will always lack an essential ingredient.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 NIV
That essential ingredient is the “image of God”. If Artificial Intelligence is created by mankind, it will inevitably bear the “image” of mankind, not of God.
In the same way as that image (photograph) of me reminded my wife of who she knew me to be, we being made in the image of God should show aspects of who God is. One of the reasons we were created was to be billboards, photographs, paintings, reflections and yes, images of aspects of His glory.
What aspects of God do you (or others) see in your life? What is God really like?
“God is love” 1 John 4:8 NIV “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
The two scriptures I just quoted are obviously far from being an exhaustive list of the characteristics of God, but they are certainly a good place to start.
As the hymn writer wrote:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth Will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”
I quite often find myself in a limited public spotlight. My prayer is that people who see me, will not see me, but will see Jesus in me.
Do you resemble your creator? Soli Deo Gloria
Blessings on you and yours, Jim Black