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The original design of a human being

"So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them" (Gen 1:27)

Dreaming. When we human beings reflect on our life, our destiny, our capabilities…. we, at times allow ourselves some rebelliousness toward the limitations that restrict so many opportunities, and we dream of a different life, we imagine a world where there won’t be hunger, nor wars, nor sicknesses, nor death, nor misunderstandings, nor fears, nor pain, nor sadness, nor lies, nor injustice… Some dreamers have chased and attempted to live their utopias to some extent, and others have dedicated their lives for eradication of some of the above mentioned evils. For many human beings, throughout history, imagination and dreams of another way of life have been a way of escape from the hard day to day experience, during which they have faced cruel personal and social dramas that many times we have qualified as "inhuman".

But this capability of a human being of dreaming and of chasing some of these dreams is not something that leads us through ways of simple fantasy. The natural rebelliousness of man in face of evil and suffering is part of the original design of a human being, because God did not create human beings to suffer, nor evil was in the plans of the Creator.

Human being, made in… When God created humankind, he did not dream, but truly established a human being in a state of balance, of inner happiness and of harmony with the environment. God is good, the supreme good, in him there is no wickedness or deceit. The Psalmist was saying to the Lord: "You are good and do good" (Ps 119:68). He is intrinsically good and can only do good.

As perfect Creator full of love for his creation, God did not create the human being with deficiencies or limitations that implied suffering, but created him for happiness.

The sole truth is that God is our Creator, as the Psalmist said: "It is he who made us, and we are his" (Ps 100:3).

The second part of this statement takes us into a powerful truth: We are his. We are God’s, not only as our Creator and beginning, but also as our end. If a human being was created for happiness and for good, these could have not been found in any place other than in God himself, who is the Supreme and Perfect Good. God created human beings as special beings, capable of living in communion with him, meaning capable of possessing the fullness of joy and goodness, in God.

The power of life. While creating a human being God bestowed upon him a number of capabilities and gifts, with which a human being can direct his life in a wise and right way, not losing the state of happiness he was in.

  • Among these capabilities or qualities of life that a human being possessed as God created him, there was the incorruptibility. In the human experience there was no place for infirmity, for decay, for death, as incorruptibility and immortality were the design of God for a human being: "For God created us for incorruption, and made us in the image of his own eternity" (Wis 2:23).
  • The life that God gifted to a human being was not one that ended or decreased, but one of continuous growth, with an increase of joy and knowledge, in communion with God. At the physical level, this was translated in strength and vitality.
  • Another quality of a human being as God created him was holiness. For the human being, "created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph 4:24), it was very difficult to commit any unjust deed, on account of the degree of morality, the level-headedness and the sense of justice that he knew and that was natural to him. In addition a human being was protected from negative examples and influences which were foreign to him, like pagan traditions and customs or the sinful inclinations of the flesh.
  • The human being knew nothing of the above, nor was he in need of anything, for he possessed all he needed to be happy, and was glad and satisfied with this, as "God made human beings straightforward" (Ecc 7:29).
  • The fact that the human being knew no injustice or evil, does not mean that he was ignorant, but on the contrary, the human understanding had a meridian clarity, an extraordinary capability of penetrating mysteries, of searching and knowing the truth, a tremendous capacity of comprehension, lucidity, intuition and vision: "Which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its Creator" (Col 3:10).
  • As far feelings and emotions are concerned, the human being enjoyed a perfect emotional balance, not subject to moods changing according to circumstances, not limited by wounded or sick feelings. The human being possessed stability and self-control, that is to say, he was not divided, save that the inferior powers were submitted to the superior ones, so that the spirit governed the soul and the body, and the latter cooperated according to what the human spirit and the will determined.
  • This integrity and self-control made man capable of dominating and ruling with fairness the earth that God placed under his authority: "Yet you have made them a little lower that God, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet" (Ps 8:5-6).
  • But above all, the capacity and the degree of friendship and of communion with God that a human being possessed made of his life something sublime and joyful, receiving and sharing the love of God.

To summarize, when God created man: "It was very good" (Gen 1:31), thus emphasizing the word of God the state in which the human being was and that with him all the creation on the earth cooperated, since in it there was no disorder as says Genesis: "And God saw that it was good" (Gen 1:25). The love of God Creator reached all and surpassed all: "For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made, for you would not have made anything if you had hated it" (Wis 11:24).

In the image and in the likeness of God. The human being is the result of the will of the Trinity: "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness" (Gen 1:26).

  • The expression "in the image" of God reveals qualities that a human being shares with God: is a being personal, spiritual, immortal, intelligent, conscious of himself, possessing free will, with emotional capability, creativity, authority, righteousness, holiness, as well a being capable of loving and of receiving love, in a full relationship with his equals and with God, as God is One and Triune in a love relationship. In addition to these qualities, this expression reveals above all the special relationship that God establishes with a human being among all his creatures. Only a human being can say: "The spirit of God has made me and the breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4).
  • The expression "according to likeness of God" tells us that a human being is not God, for God is infinite and eternal, but one who shares some of God’s qualities in the manner of creature, above all with a great difference: the capability of losing some of these characteristics. But for this reason, God desired that a human being, could freely dialogue with him and have an intimacy with his Creator, thus giving in this way a special value to this relationship and as such a special value to the human being, as one capable of having such a relationship with God.

The other possibility. All that we have described sounds really much of a love affair, but it is no more or less the state of a human being in the Paradise. There was really another possibility- to lose this state, not because God so desired, but because he wanted to make a human being free, and as such with the capability of choosing and experiencing the consequences of his decisions and elections. So, depending of the free election by a human being he could remain in such state, having dominion over the earth, in submission to God and in communion with him, or to disobey God. The consequences of the second election would trigger a major drama that centuries have seen. Notwithstanding, and being the will of God to continue loving humankind and that his perfect plan according to his original design should come true, the love of God for humankind made him establish the wonderful plan of redemption. Since then, good and evil have been carrying out a battle of which dimensions, human beings are not conscious, but amidst which we find ourselves and there we gamble our life…. or our death.

Questions for sharing:

  • Do you consider that human beings could remain in the habit of dreaming with a truly happy world? Of what the dreams of human beings consist when they think of happiness?
  • The Bible reveals that God made the human being straightforward. What do you think the meaning of this expression is?
  • Why do you think that human being’s freedom has a great value for God?


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