When personal relationships break down, it is a sure sign that there is some rift in one’s relationship with God. The deeper the rift, the broader will be the effect on the human level. Rebellion against our Creator and Redeemer–against the One who designed us and gives us the breath of life and loves us every minute of every day–is not only unreasonable but outrageous. The sense of outrage will reveal itself in our treatment of others.
We “get at” God by getting at those He has made, especially those whom his providence has placed close to us. We cannot bear the image of God in them, for we cannot bear the ineradicability of that image in our own being. It is a constant reminder of our own sin, which is the violation of the divine image. Without the consciousness of a legitimate claim on our lives, we could not know sin.
To recognize and submit to that claim is to return to peace and fellowship.
“If we claim to be sharing in his life while we walk in the dark, our words and our lives are a lie; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, then we share together a common life, and we are being cleansed from every sin by the blood of Jesus His Son” (l Jn 1:6,7 NEB).