The BIG IDEA
We are all made in the image of God.
We don’t always remember that we are made on purpose, in the image of God. We forget others were made by God, even people who are different from us.
By exploring what the Bible says about God creating us in his image, we can gain a better idea of how he views us and others.
Why THIS MATTERS
Knowing that all people are created by God and made in his image can help us treat others and ourselves with respect, humility and love. We can be free to celebrate his creation and tell others how much God loves them and wants a relationship with them.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: That we are all made in the image of God.
- EXPERIENCE: A Biblical view of how God views us and others.
- DO: By God’s power, learn to treat others with respect, humility and love because they too were created in God’s image and he desires to have a relationship with them.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
*Have the students take a selfie or a picture of each other. Say, “Describe things about yourself in this photo. Is what you see in the photo actually you or a reflection of you?” Try to keep it light and fun.
Bring a mirror to the study and pass it around and ask the question, “is what you see in the mirror actually you or a reflection of you?” If you’re able, purchase small mirrors for each student as a gift and reminder that they are made in God’s image.
*When you take a selfie, you’re making an image of yourself. That’s kind of what God did when he made humans. Everything from our ethnicity to our gifts and abilities are all on purpose and designed by God himself. This study is about how we are made in God’s image and what that means for us and others.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
*Read Genesis 1:24-27.
*1. What is going on in this passage?
Have someone give a short explanation of what is happening just to get everyone on the same page.
2. What is the difference between how God created the animals and how he created people?
Only people were made in the image of God.
*3. What does it mean to be made in the image of God?
Unlike the animals, we were created in God’s image, with a soul, which causes us to want to know God. He gave us a conscience to know right from wrong and the ability to love others like he loves us. He also gave us responsibilities, like taking care of the earth and helping others as he does.
Read Psalm 139:13-18. King David of Israel wrote this while going through some hard times in his life.
4. What does this passage tell us about ourselves and about others?
That God made every part of us on purpose and knows each one of us, inside and out.
5. Psalm 139:17-18 talks about how God views us. How would you describe the way God thinks about us?
He loves us so much that he thinks about us all the time, even when we are asleep! He values us more than we can ever imagine.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
*God created us in his image, carefully and on purpose. Knowing this can influence how we view ourselves and how we treat others.
6. Have there been times in your life when you have questioned if God made a mistake in the way he created you? Explain why.
Bring up the fact that sometimes we feel like God made a mistake with us when we compare ourselves to other people or wish that we were more like someone else.
7. How could knowing you are made in the image of God change the way you think about yourself?
Remind the students that they are valuable to God and that they have worth and dignity. God made you with specific gifts and abilities on purpose. You are unique from everyone else.
*8. Have you ever looked down on someone else or forgotten that others are made by God in his image too? Share your experience.
Ask them to share if they are comfortable but to not mention names if it would hurt someone they are talking about. You could mention judging people for what they wear, the food they eat, or where they live. You may need to share from your own life to get the discussion going.
*9. How could knowing others are made in the image of God change the way you treat them?
When we see others the way God sees them, people with worth and dignity, we are able to treat them with respect and honor their differences. We can see them as people who are loved by God and worthy of being treated as he would treat them.
*10. When you hear about unjust or sad things going on in the world today, how does knowing we are made in God’s image impact your view of things?
When we are aware that we are all made in God’s image, we can see how people should be treated. However, we know people are often not viewed as being made in God’s image. This might be a time when students could talk about conflict in their nation, recent tragedies, or unjust actions in their culture (like sex trafficking, persecution or racial tensions).
*11. Knowing the truth of what God says is not enough. Where can we get the power to actually change our attitudes toward ourselves and others?
To see real and long-lasting change in the way we think and act, we can ask the Holy Spirit to change us. If we humbly confess our wrong thinking and actions to God, he promises to forgive us and he gives us strength through the Holy Spirit to change. Check out I John 1:9.
*Close with a time of prayer thanking God for making you and others in his image. Ask him to help you see yourself as he sees you and to see others as he does.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.