Saturday, 15 December 2018

C Columns

Who Do You 'Look' Like? Be Stamped With the Image of Christ?

By Vincent Kituku

The sentence “Stamp thine own image deep in my heart” is the closing of the chorus of Thomas O. Chisholm’s song titled, “O to Be Like Thee.” After listening and sometimes trying to mouth those words for more than 23 years, I found myself wrestling with the thought of how it is to have the image of God in one’s heart.

Stamping an image on anything can serve a multitude of purposes. It can be used to establish authenticity of property. It can reflect ownership. There is the natural image or resemblance we see in members of the same family. Some look so alike that it’s impossible to tell who is who unless you have known them for a while.

I have had embarrassing experiences with identical twins, especially of Caucasian background. In two cases I enthusiastically opened my arms to embrace a “friend” I have known and worked with only to be given that, “Please don’t touch me…I don’t know you” look.

A childhood wound in my heart was caused by the pain of not being told I looked like my father. My young brother did and he never needed to explain his ancestry. Just looking at him someone would say, “Hey, you are Kituku’s son!” That was it for my brother, but I had to SAY that I was Kituku’s son. Then there came the comment or question I expected each time I told someone that I was Kituku’s son. “Oh, you look like your mother” was better than the question, “Are you really Kituku’s son?”

But the thoughts of a stamped image that have colonized my mind are comparable to a practice of my business. We purchase plain envelopes and then stamp them with the Kituku & Associates image with a logo (buffalo), mailing address, website address and phone/fax numbers. After an envelope is permanently stamped Kituku & Associates, no any other entity, business, or individual can claim it. That stamp tells the world who the envelope belongs to.

And that is what has created the unsettling curiosity whenever I hear or sing the words of Chisholm’s hymns. I wonder whether when people see my actions or hear my words, they see the image of God. The song expounds on what it is to be like Jesus: “full of compassion, loving, forgiving, tender and kind, helping the helpless, cheering the fainting, seeking the wandering sinner to find.” This is just the beginning, even though I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I had a fraction of an ounce of each of these Christlike characteristics.

The songwriter continues by adding, “lowly in spirit, holy and harmless, patient (he must have not raised teenagers or worked with some people we know) and brave, meekly enduring cruel reproaches, willing to suffer others to save” to the list of what comprises a Christlike image.

Then I take the liberty to imagine how the world would be like if each and every person who accepts God’s plan of salvation in his/her life claimed that image and portrayed the Christlike characteristics. One thing is for sure. The world would be different. That is where II Chronicles 7:14 comes in: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Responsibility comes with having the image of Christ stamped in our hearts or being called by the name of God — Christians, in our case. We have to strive not to misrepresent Him and tarnish His image.

Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku, award-winning international speaker and author, is the founder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Hope and Caring Hearts High School in Kenya. He may be reached at 208-376-8724 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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