Posted by: New in Every Way | July 31, 2012

More Than Meets the Eye

Have you ever been surprised by someone you thought you knew? One of my biggest surprises involved a man I had known for fifteen years. He was a prosperous farmer, active in church, and a member of the school board. He was a good example of a “big fish in a small pond”—and that is how I had him pegged. I was totally surprised when he announced his intention to run for the state legislature. . . . It’s hard now for me to think of Illinois state government without thinking of my friend, Representative Raymond Poe.

There’s more to all of us than meets the eye. To truly know ourselves, or anyone else, we have to look below the surface.

Alexander Pope’s opinion of how to know ourselves is:

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.*

When my high school junior English teacher quoted these lines, they didn’t set right with me, although I couldn’t quite say why. Today I would say that the problem with Pope’s idea is: mankind was created in the image of God. To really understand ourselves, we can’t just study ourselves, or our family, we have to know what God is like as well.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness (Genesis 1:26).

He has . . . set eternity in the human heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Making It Personal

  • Have you defined yourself only in terms of your human family?
  • What Family traits have you inherited from God?
  • Being part of a human family and part of God’s family too—how does that work? Check Wednesday’s blog for an example.


*From Alexander Pope. An Essay on Man. As reproduced in Poetical Works, ed. H. F. Cary (London: Routledge, 1870), 225-226.

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