Equal Doesn't Mean Identical

Don't discriminate against me, but I love math, even though I have forgotten much of it. I love the principles and theory of it, and how it just works (even though the back of the book saved the day more times than I'd like to admit!). And I still love math, even though it started taking a back seat in my life after walking out of my last math class in college. Having raised the white flag of unconditional surrender, I realized there was much about math that I could not understand and must leave to others.

But there is one thing I still remember about math, the principle of equality. It may be easier to remember it by the little symbol that represents it, the "=". You will recall it either near the front or at the back of the problem. I can't speak for others, but I always felt a little bit more comfortable working with an expression with the little "=" there. I did because it told me there was an answer to the problem though I couldn't find it at the moment!

Now, behind this "=" was the principle, which we need to appreciate. Equality is the relationship between two or more entities that have the same value. Rather than loosing ourselves here, let's recall our school days. In our early elementary classes, we learned "3 = 3" and loved its simplicity. But when we got older our teacher changed the look of the expression by inserting a letter for a number, "3 = B", and some of us started fidgeting. When we advanced further, we found another in there, "A = B", and many of us came up with our own equation ourselves, "MATH = SKIP"!

But really, we shouldn't have because that little equal sign is still there. What that sign told us then, and still tells us now, is that though the numerical value may not be "3" any more, both of the letters (or variables) still have the same value. They are equal to one another despite "A" not looking at all like "B".

So why spend so much time on this? How is this important? Things don't have to look identical to have the same value. In our day, identity is confused for equality. To look the same, or the ability do the same thing--to be identical--says that equality is there. But the issue isn't equality. Equality has always been there, and will be there so long as God is in the heavens and has ordained for man and woman to be His image bearers (Genesis 1:27). Yes, sure, we look different, male and female, and we may even feel a little uncomfortable around one another in our differences, but our values are the same--we are made in God's image.

So, let us not be a people confused; equality doesn't rest upon looking the same or doing the same work. Equality is based upon value.

At the same time, we must acknowledge, to a world that is seeking systematically to suppress their conscience of God, equality may be a problem. For when you do not have God, nor believe you are created, nor further believe you are created in His image, value becomes an issue. And persons must scramble around to find value again and may come up with little else other than trying to mirror others.

Yet, there is great hope, good news even. That same one that suppresses the truth may be restored. Restored in full. Not numerically (as if they have ceased to be God's image bearer because of their thought or heart), but spiritually, to the knowledge of the truth that their value is derived from God as being His image bearer. And that knowledge may be found by the help of the Spirit of God, if they would but turn to Him and seek forgiveness through His Son.

Praise God for His true Image, His Son Jesus Christ, in whom we find that forgiveness and full restoration.
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