Just who do you think you are?!
I’m sure many of us, sometime in our lives, heard that statement of indignation, disgust, horror. And it was meant to “put us in our place.” Maybe you heard it at work when you applied for that promotion or made a gutsy decision. Or maybe you heard it as a kid, when you wrote an essay that received an “A+” or when you made the basket that won the game.
No matter how young or how old you were when you heard it, it still stung. Even for a moment, it made you feel less than the person you knew yourself to be.
And you know . . . you were right.
You’re right not because of some absurd delusion you have of yourself, but because of a timeless truth. YOU . . . are special. You are uniquely, individually-created by a loving God.
We’re told in the Book of Genesis that God created the world, starting with saying “Let there be light.” And there was light. From there, God continues to speak everything into existence . . . separating the earth and sky waters, forming dry land, calling forth vegetation, the sun, moon and stars, birds, fish and animals. And he declares it all “good.”
But then he gets to man (humankind.) That’s where this gets really interesting.
Instead of also speaking man into existence, he does something totally different from that of all the rest of creation.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image. . .
. . , to be like us. . . So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:26-27)
So, unlike every other created thing, we humans are “created in God’s image.” Interesting.
But now it gets really, really interesting. In Genesis, Chapter 2 we read:
“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” (Gen. 2: 7)
Do you realize what this means? It means that “God’s breath” – God’s life-force or “spirit,” if you will – is given to man and woman alone among all of creation. Humankind alone shares in God’s divine nature, has dialogue with God, has a relationship with God, has spiritual awareness and a moral conscience.
You might be saying to yourself right now, “OK, I get it. People are more special than animals or plants. But what does that have to do with me?”
Good point. But God just didn’t get humanity started and then checked out. There’s much more to the story, a precious, intimate story of God’s care for each man, woman, and child. Consider what these writers say:
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:13-16)
“The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name.” (Isaiah 49:1b)
Now consider what God himself says, when people felt forgotten, abandoned by Him (as we all do, from time-to-time):
“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-16a)
So you see, God carefully hand-crafted human beings and he very carefully, individually, hand-crafted you, to forever be top-of-mind with him. So the next time someone asks, “Just who do you think you are?” You can confidently reply: “I am (your name here), hand-crafted by God.”