The bible reveals that the Image of God and “Imago Dei means that all of God’s creatures (mankind) was created in the image of God. The bible references Imago Dei in several bible passages. Reasons to believe states that there are three qualifications that must be made prior to analyzing the term further. First, “Scripture contains an implicit rather than explicit explanation of the image of God. A definition for imago Dei must come from drawing proper inferences from the biblical text, buttressed by careful reflection about the state of the human condition” (Reasons To Believe, 2011). Secondly it’s not possible to simply understand the meaning of imago Dei because it would require an extensive understanding of “God’s nature”. Man is limited to infinite nature of God and must deal with the mystery and decreased knowledge. The third understanding is that different Christian traditions have taken different meaning of what is the divine image. The Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant branches have different aspects of the image (Reasons to Believe, 2011).
Shelly & Miller states that the image of God represents the dignity and honor that has been granted to mankind regardless of their mental capabilities, social status, or physical status. The image of God has been part of our Western society but now confronts challenges from modernism and postmodernism. Postmodernism believes earth is a “living organism” and that man only is part of what is in the living organism (Shelly & Miller, 2006). It has been through the image of God that we have been able to have people like Mother Teresa that dedicated her life to serving the sick and poor.
Grace Communion International suggests the following for concepts relating to the image of God (Grace Communion International, 2015).
1. Thomas Aquinas located the image in the human ability to think and reason, to use language and art, far surpassing the abilities of any animals.
2. Leonard Verduin says that the image consists in our dominion over animals and plants, which continues despite our sinfulness.5
3. A “widely accepted interpretation” is that the “image” is our ability to make moral decisions, which involve self-awareness and social awareness.6
4. Emil Brunner says that it is our ability to have a relationship with God, reflected in the tendency of all societies to have forms of worship.
The image of God is relevant in healthcare and everywhere else. Being made in the image of God provides us with the foundation of our calling. Knowing that we are made in the image of God provides us with the gifts and talents that can be used in nursing. Understanding what the image of God means knowing that we all have a purpose to fulfill and that purpose will glorify God.
According to Indiana Wesleyan University a Christian nurse values are based on Biblical scripture. But most importantly being a Christian nurse is to respect all others regardless of their beliefs and culture but with the Christian ideals that God has ordered us to fulfill (Indian Wesleyan University, 2015).
In the clinic where I work we treat patients of all religious faiths and beliefs, we take this into account when coming up with a treatment plan and protocol for them. We may not always agree with their way of thinking, however we must respect it.
Recently a doctor that I work with revealed to me that he does not believe in God, this really troubles me. I feel if we do not believe in something greater then ourselves, then we live our life with no repercussions. This is a perfect example of respecting another person’s beliefs even if we do not agree with them.