The most heady and holy contemplation a human can have is considering himself or herself to be made in the image and likeness of God. No other breathing, let alone lifeless, creature in the universe bears this almost impossible weight of glory. Our existence reflects our Creator beyond His skill and power. Our existence reflects something in His nature.
How might this look day to day? What sort of celestial meditation or global enterprise or eternal longings should stamp an image-bearer of Elohim? A man who is mindful of his privilege will have certain big thoughts. But the apostle James says such awareness should also make a man shut his big mouth.
James illustrates the tongue as a ship’s rudder and a spark that sets a forrest ablaze with hell’s heat. He says the tongue “is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:8-9). He’s addressing members of the church. Unbelievers don’t bless God or submit to Christ as Lord or claim the Father as Father. “From the same (Christian) mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (verse 10).
The more we appreciate our status as image-bearers, the more we worship God and are fitted for His glory, the more we will talk nicely about our neighbors. A salt pond can’t yield fresh water, and if there is no fresh water coming out of our mouths about our spouse, kids, boss, neighbors, mayor, barista, parents, Canadians, or fellow members of the body, then we don’t yet appreciate the doctrine of creation and man as the imago Dei.