It is safe to say that we should do our best in reflecting the image of Jesus to people, and to represent the Father’s heart. It is also safe to say that everyone will have a different belief in what that looks like, and what it means. For example, a short time ago there was a group of people who attacked a pastor in Houston Texas, while another group came to his defense. Directly after that an actor made some statements about the hurricanes, and those same people who defended the pastor attacked the actor, while another group of people defended the actor. Furthermore, they all thought they were right in what they were saying and doing.
I’m sure they were all right in part, and wrong in part. That’s the best we can do as people. We can’t know anymore than “in part”.
In an effort to say something you can apply to your life in such a way as to look inwardly to determine if you are reflecting Jesus or not, I will say, who and what you worship matters. I will approach the “what” today. What occupies your heart and mind for the most amount of time matters. For example, if you spend most of your time thinking about money or power, it will make a difference in what you reflect, how you treat other people, and what comes out of your mouth.
If you increasingly spend more and more time thinking about money, you will increasingly define people in those terms. People become creditors, debtors, partners, customers, tenants, and so on. Everything except a human being.
If you increasingly worship power, you will increasingly define people in those terms. People become collaborators, competitors, pawns, traitors, dividers, and so on. Everything except a human being. You will define people by how they respond to your own ideas, visions, and missions. If it is not a good response then you will define those people in a negative way. However, just because they have different ideas, visions, and missions than you does not mean that they should be defined in a negative way. I heard someone say in a teaching one time that until I know you will take a bullet for my vision, I don’t care about yours. That’s grieving to me. I WANT to know the vision God has placed in you, I may be able to help you walk it out, or connect you with someone who can! I shouldn’t be trying to figure out how to get people to serve me and my vision. I should be trying to help people serve God and His kingdom with their vision.
It doesn’t really matter what the “it” is, it can have this effect. If it is lust, then people become objects rather than people, and so on.
Of course these are just quick examples of how things can subtly grow in you, without you even realizing it. My point is that if we are going to reflect Jesus, we can not look at people in these ways. People can not become just objects or a means to an end, and most people will eventually sniff it out if you do see them that way. How you treat people matters, and what you worship will affect this.
Many forms of devaluing people exist, and in my opinion none of them reflect Jesus. Jesus was moved with compassion for people. It was the religious people of His day who treated people inhumanely, and worshipped the wrong things that He stood against.
Be honest with yourself in what you worship. Do your best to value people, and reflect Jesus.
God is for you, and I am for you!