God joyfully gave us His image. That image can be defined as personhood, intelligence, and will—the self. God possesses His own personhood, intelligence, and will.
We inherited from Him an inborn capacity to love, to desire truth and fairness, to appreciate beauty and goodness. The ability to think, ask, and be curious is God-given. Consider that without this ability, we wouldn’t be able to seek wisdom or the kingdom of heaven or any of God’s treasures.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule…over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” (Gen. 1:26) To do this safely and wisely is a matter of will—specifically, good will. Because God possesses flawless personhood, intelligence, and will, whereas we don’t, the epic battle between good and evil ultimately comes down to a battle of good will vs. ill will.
Personhood, intelligence, and will set mankind apart from plants and animals. There are those who say that humans are just a “higher order” of animals; but animals operate primarily by instinct, whereas humans operate primarily by will (although both use a combination of the two). It’s why God charges us with caring for them and the earth. These merits give humans the capacity to be caretakers, to competently rule our affairs, and to nobly serve others the way our Father does—the way He designed us. (more…)