Abundant Living Vol. XVI, Issue 1

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27

Having had the opportunity to spend precious quality time during the Christmas holidays with our grandchildren, some thoughts occurred to me about what I have learned about God from being a grandparent. First, I must confess that despite how much fun we have together, my grandchildren are not perfect (which of course is true for all of us). Occasionally they do misbehave – imagine that! – frustratingly so at times. But my frustration is inevitably short lived, for no matter what they do I love them more deeply than they can imagine, plus I have the advantage of seeing what great potential they have, which they have yet to figure out. In other words, I see them as God’s creations, made in His own image.

The cornerstone of my profession of executive coaching is the belief that our clients are creative, resourceful and whole. That is, they are not broken, don’t need fixing, and are fully equipped with all they need to deal with their circumstances. How’s that, you may ask? Because, like my grandchildren, they are God’s creations, made in His own image. The coach’s job is simply to help the client recognize that and tap into it.

One of our sons, after learning they were expecting their second child, came to me with great concern about his capacity to love another child as much as he loves his first. Part of me wanted to laugh, not to make light of his question, but because I knew he would find out soon enough. And indeed he did; for the first time he held that beautiful baby girl in his arms all his concerns vanished as if they had never existed.

What have I learned about God from being a grandparent? Three things: (1) God’s love, like my love for my grandchildren, is not conditional on good behavior. (2) God sees in us far greater potential than we are able to see in ourselves, just as I’m able to see in my grandchildren (and my clients). And (3) God’s capacity to love is infinite, just as my son realized about himself when he held his second child in his arms. So, if these are true about God, are they not true about us as well? After all, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him . . .”

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