My alter ego is a bonafide bargain hunter. At times I am looking for something specific and other times not. Caleb and I are planning to attend our first Ball in June, so in anticipation of the event, I am on a quest to find the perfect dress. I am enjoying the process, especially since I have some time to prepare. I have no qualms about looking on clearance racks and thrift stores. Most people are shocked at what I am able to discover-high quality treasures at a fraction of the original price. Last week I made a little stop in one of the Goodwill stores in the Metroplex. I thought it was worth my while to take a peek and see if they had a suitable dress.
While perusing the dress section, I shared the area with a small crowd of women on a similar pursuit. I did not pay much attention as I was in “the zone” peering at formal attire in my size. However; when next to three of them, I noticed them joyously laughing and commenting on selections they were pulling off the racks. It became immediately clear to me that these women I was shopping next to all had very deep voices. Taking further notice, it became evident to me that these women were not women at all, but men dressed as women. They were truly having a jovial time. I smiled, and we shared small talk. They were very polite and complimentary. When I later found a little something to try on, they were all at the dressing room mesmerized at their friends as they exited, modeling the feminine attire. More friendly words were exchanged between us.
Another observation I made in the store was the behavior of the other patrons. I cannot tell you who these customers were, what their belief systems entailed, or why they acted as they did, but clearly they were not humored. Their looks of disgust and murmurings under their breath as they kept their distance spoke volumes. Over time, I have worked through my own judgmental attitudes. Several years ago, I doubt I would have engaged in conversation with anyone so different than myself. As human beings, we need to be more civil towards other human beings. As believers in Christ, we have a greater responsibility.
In the book of James chapter three, James discusses how our tongues are full of fire and deadly poison. We erroneously use it to bless and curse. Verse nine ought to make us shudder. “With it (our tongues) we bless our God and Father, and we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.” Similitude means the quality or state of being similar to something. In the Greek, similitude of God is homoiosis theou meaning “God’s likeness”. The footnotes in my NKJV Study Bible explain it this way-[Although human beings have lost much of Godlikeness, there is still enough of our make-up to hint at what we once were like and what we can become again through the work of Christ. It is interesting how the ancient Alexandrian Christians understood Genesis 1:26, where man and woman are created in the “image” and “likeness” of God. The “image” was that Godlike part of us that we never lost in the Fall, while the “likeness” was that Godlike part of humanness that we have yet to acquire. By “image” they meant a person’s physical and intellectual nature; by “likeness” they meant a person’s moral being.]
Therefore we are ALL made in the image of God, yet are in different phases in our journey to be like Him. Some know Him well. Others want nothing to do with the Lord based on the perceptions of those who claim to bear His Name while acting nothing like Him. James is clear that we need to keep our mouths from using CURSE WORDS at the very people God created. Our Godlikeness becomes evident when we not only bless God, but bless everyone He loves, which by the way is everyone.
I did not find the perfect dress at Goodwill that day. I did find something greater. I discovered that I have grown a bit. I did not ask these men shopping for dresses if they knew about heaven and hell. I did not use CURSE WORDS to condemn their lifestyle. I did smile at them and had a short pleasant conversation treating them as human beings created in the image of the God I serve. That is a start towards my mission of the similitude of God.