Jason B. Hood: God shaped shadows

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Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

“If we are engaged in God’s work, ruling as His image-bearers, we should imitate the character He displays as He works. Divine compassion, beauty, holiness, and justice should be mirrored in the labors of God’s people. We imitate His knowledge, even if our knowledge is not of the same sort as His. The preaching and teaching of God’s work should lead to this imitation of God’s faithfulness, forgiveness, generosity, and righteousness. We do not imitate perfectly, and however impressive our work is by human standards, it is always a pale imitation of God’s magnificence. Our best deeds and desires are tainted by sin. Many of the characteristics possessed perfectly by God and appearing in His people are merely imperfect shadows–but they are God shaped shadows.”

Jason B. Hood in Imitating God in Christ: Recapturing a Biblical Pattern (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2013) 40.

Adding a new staff member to the GTP team led me to read excerpts of this book when I woke up early today.

I have traveled to Cape Town, South Africa (pictured above), to facilitate a discernment retreat and orientation activities this week with Ereny Monir and Chris Maphosa to activate Gabrielle Fortunato to serve as GTP Regional Trainer for Africa.

This is both spiritual and strategic work. We want Gabrielle to imitate Christ while pursuing the mission of GTP.

In this kind of work, Hood reminds us that our focus should be imitating the “faithfulness, forgiveness, generosity, and righteousness” of God while realizing our efforts, which are tainted by sin, come into view as imperfect shadows, though they are God shaped ones.

I am realizing this must be reflected in my life first as President & CEO so the team follows my example.

Related to Africa, Gabrielle will facilitate trainings that aim to multiply faithful stewards to be God shaped shadows. They won’t be perfect, but they will aim to reflect the “faithfulness, forgiveness, generosity, and righteousness” of God to the watching world.

May God shape each of us into image-bearers who exhibit His compassion, beauty, holiness, and justice!