People tell me that I am like my mother with regard to my personality and temperament – and they are right. I definitely bear a likeness to my mother in that regard.
Likewise, people who know God can see that there is a likeness in mankind that resembles the personality of God. Sin has corrupted that likeness, of course, but nevertheless – there is a resemblance that still can be seen. The fact of the matter is that in Genesis 1:26-27, we are specifically told that God made us to be like Him: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’ And God created man in His own image…male and female He created them.” According to these verses both men and women were created to be like God.
The word “likeness” is a word that means “resemblance,” and comes from a root word that means “to compare.” So, the idea is that when you compare what God is like with the characteristics that we have, you can see a resemblance between Him and us.
For instance, God is a loving God and has the ability to show mercy and kindness. Well, He made us to be like that. We also have the ability to be loving and merciful and kind. God is a God of truth, and He has a sense of justice. Well, we are concerned about justice, too, and we certainly don’t like it when people lie to us or defraud us. You see, in many ways, we are like God. Now, because of sin we tend to corrupt these things, becoming very unlike God in the ways we think or the things we do. But make no mistake about it – God did make us to be like Him, and He wants us to fulfill that likeness.
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Ponder the ways in which we should be like God. Think about compassion and justice and uprightness and mercy and love. Are you like that?