So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
– Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
The landscape of college athletics has changed dramatically over the past few months. One of the most significant changes came with the passage of NCAA rules and state laws that have opened the door for college athletes to sell the rights to their name, image and likeness. The new move was considered to be a step forward for student-athletes and many say it’s long overdue. In just a short time we have witnessed student-athletes partner with local businesses in order to promote their products. Some have used the new opportunity to help raise money for those suffering from a tragic illness. Others have launched deals to sell apparel with their personal image displayed on the front. Only time will reveal the long term impact of this new rule. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this opportunity can be used to produce both good and bad. I can only hope that student-athletes will hold themselves to the highest standards in order that their name, image and likeness represents something worthy of being displayed.
It’s apparent that our name, image and likeness is important to God. On the sixth day of Creation, God created mankind. Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created man in his own image. Let that sink in for a minute. When we look in the mirror each morning, we are actually looking at the reflection of God. From the very beginning the Bible places both man and woman at the pinnacle of God’s creation. We are God’s greatest work. It was impressed upon me as a child that the family name was important. My last name didn’t make me more important than someone else, but it did require that I think about the long term consequences of my actions. Galatians 3:26 tells us that our faith in Jesus Christ makes us children of God. We are literally members of God’s family. Are we bringing honor or shame to His name through our words and actions? Being a child of God doesn’t make me better than someone else, but it does hold me to a higher standard. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Paul wasn’t being arrogant when he said this. The Gospels hadn’t been written yet, so the only way the people of Corinth could know what Jesus was like was to observe the life of Paul. Do others see Christ in our life? Would someone know without a doubt that we are a child of God? As sinners we all fall short of God’s desire for us however, we should always be mindful of protecting the name, image and likeness He has given us.
Heavenly Father, you have created me to know you and make you known. Help me to be a reflection of your Son Jesus today and every day. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.