In His Image
10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character
By Jen Wilkin
Last summer Fernanda led us beautifully through a study series based on Jen Wilkin’s book ‘None Like Him’, looking at the 10 incommunicable characteristics of God - characteristics that we can’t imitate as those traits are true of God alone. But Fernanda left me with a burning curiosity to read Jen Wilkin’s other book about God’s communicable attributes - those traits we are called to exhibit. That book is ‘In His Image’.
‘In His Image’ opens with one of the best opening hooks, I’ve ever read: “If you’ve ever said, “I just want to know God’s will for my life”, this book is for you. If you’ve ever gazed at the trajectory of your life and wondered if you were headed down the right path or off a cliff, keep reading.”
As Christians we can sometimes be lazy when making a decision: we have a direct line to God, he’ll tell us what to do! In a way it’s commendable - keeping God forefront of our minds, checking in with Him, honouring Him in our daily lives. What is His will, what should I do? However, Jen very succinctly and gently points out that if we want to align our lives with God’s will, we need to ask a better question than ‘what should I do?’ That better question is - ‘who should I be?’
I don’t think the answer is giving away the book. We read very early on in the Bible (Genesis 1 v27): ‘God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’
Jen develops that idea: ‘God created humankind and stamped us with His mark. He created us to bear His image, to be His representative in our working and playing and worship. Form and function in harmony.’
Knowing that we are called to be image bearers of God is one thing but truly understanding what that means is another. In this book Jen Wilkins helps us understand who God is and skillfully guides us through the characteristics of God we should espouse: holy, loving, good, just, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise.
Jen has a very concise and down to earth way of presenting truths from the Bible about God’s character. She unpacks this simply and with personal stories and reflections, encouraging the reader that it’s all possible, in our human frailness but through the Spirit working in us, we can all become His image bearer. We can all live according to God’s will for us.
The book dedicates one chapter to each one of God’s communicable characteristics. It’s a challenging and thought provoking book to read but each chapter ends with suggested Biblical verses for meditation, questions for reflection and a prayer which can also be adapted for small group work.
For a mature, experienced Christian this book may not reveal a lot of new information, but it’s a simple, meditative way to help focus our hearts and minds on God and thank Him for who He is. It’s not a book to be rushed, but to be used as a ‘development tool’, reading it hand in hand with your Bible. For me, its simplicity and accessibility was not life-changing, but life-giving.
But don’t take my word for it. Emily Jensen is quoted as saying: “This book is for every woman who stresses over her decisions, constantly wondering whether or not she’s in God’s will. Jen Wilkin graciously turns these questions upside down by encouraging us to know and behold the character of God, allowing that to inform and transform our actions as image bearers. ‘In His Image’ presents a biblical and practical explanation of God’s communicable attributes that anyone can grasp, enjoy and apply!”
One final quote from the book: ‘In all of the created order, only humans are designed to reflect the image of God.’ Are you ready to step up to the plate? If so, this book will surely help you.
By Emily Dadson
Emily has been a member of St Margaret's church for over 18 years. She serves in the Women Together Team and is frequently involved in any church drama or puppetry! She works for local charity, Children on the Edge and is married to Mike. Their two children are both at University.