Image: Glorifying Christ by Reflecting Him

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mirrorBy Dr. Melissa Cheeks

Last week, we talked about how purposeful fellowship is the first step in honoring the Lord in any workplace. The next point comes on the heels of that lesson. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Unlike other parts of creation, we were formed in the image of God, and as such image bearers, we have different responsibilities. As John Piper says, this difference “helps get at the essence of how humans honor God with their work.” We were made to reflect exactly who God is, in order that the world can daily honor him. Our work should inspire others to draw closer to God.

As part of our duty to his creation, we are tasked with having dominion over other creatures. Do you remember what Psalm 8 said about humans? “You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.” If you read last week’s post, you’ll know that I love Psalm 8, and find it a beautiful representation of our jobs as veterinarians. While healing the physically broken is a tangible part of our job, we must remember that even the smallest parts of our day can reflect who God is, or conversely, who he is not. Make no mistake that it will be a daily choice, because we will always fall short of God’s glory. But we should strive to remember that as God’s image bearers, our conscious choices can make a difference in spreading the Gospel. In other words, as John Piper says, “…we should be busy understanding and shaping and designing and using God’s creation in a way that calls attention to his worth and wakens worship.” 

So how do we “waken worship” in our veterinary practices? What can we do that will inspire others to draw closer to the Lord and see the beauty of his creation? It sounds more daunting than it really is when you consider every piece of your day, and every working part of your practice. It is our job to take what God has made and use it to glorify him. So as veterinarians and image-bearers of the Lord, we should ensure that our surgical sites are clean, our treatments are up-to-date, our client education is top-notch, and our clinic floors are spotless. Our work needs to be purposeful and our actions need to be deliberate. Only through conscious effort to produce quality work will we reflect God.

Some of these suggestions may feel like “the little things”, but they can make all the difference in how others view your practice, and how you will be set apart as a follower of Christ. If you are working to the Lord’s glory, your high-quality work will be evident to others. I like what it says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The honor of being in God’s image is that we must reflect who he really is. And this means making him look great in all circumstances (and all creatures), great and small.

If we do make an effort to reflect God’s glory through our practices and our daily choices, we will rest easy at the end of the day. Essentially, if you know that you have worked for the Lord, you will have peace with your decisions when the day is done. The satisfaction of high-quality work is something that allows a person to feel confident, assured, and frankly, not lose sleep at night. As it says in James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” Amen to that.

The answer to our workplace joy all comes back to Jesus. He is the sole reason we can have joy through our work in spite of being fallen sinners. And when we remember that fact, every single hour we are working to his glory will allow us to boast in only one thing: the cross. Galatians 6:14 summarizes this concept well, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” I pray that we all strive to live as little reflections of God’s goodness in every community where we serve. When I think about the distribution of veterinarians across even just the US, I realize that together, we can be an amazing witness. Next week, we will explore this concept further, and discuss how our work can adorn the Gospel, and enhance its ability to be spread in our own communities.

 

Dr. Cheeks is raising deputation as the North Central Regional Representative for CVM. She is based out of Madison, Wisconsin but works in 9 states, including 9 vet schools. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, running, hiking with her dog, tending her garden, cooking, and knitting. Find out how you can support her ministry here: www.cvmusa.org/cheeks

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One comment

  1. Steve Wadsworth

    Thank you for these wonderful blogs. Out little country church in northern Vermont is doing a year long focus on faith and work. Your blogs will be helpful when I give my testimony next week on integrating my work and my faith. Thank you for your thoughtful insights.

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