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The Christian concept of imago dei literally means “image of God,” but it goes much deeper than a physical image. God created us in his likeness and gave us “dominion” (influence over) over all the creatures on earth. I believe the meaning of “in his likeness” is that as he loves us, and made us as “relational, multidimensional, sexual, moral, mortal beings destined for eternal life” (Shelley & Miller, 2006). He gives us the ability to have fellowship with Him and the community of man, yet he also gave us the choice to not. Christians also believe that every person has an “intrinsic worth” no matter how weak or flawed they are. We may not agree with their beliefs but since we look to God for the “meaning” of life, “purpose and direction” we should do everything in our power to show them His way, to care for them as He would (Shelley & Miller, 2006). God even gave us His Son in human form as an example when He saw we had lost our way.
This is important and relevant in health care as even though people may have different cultures or viewpoints we should care for them as family (fellowship). As nurses we need to look the reasons for entering the profession. Is it really a job or vocation? Vocation can mean a job or it can mean something more, a divine calling to religious work (Merriam- Webster, n.d.). Shelley and Miller, (2006) if we lose sight of the meaning of human worth and what life is spiritually all about then nursing will be no more (p.79). When I interview new nurses I always ask why they became a nurse. Everyone always answers in some form or fashion “to help people”. Yet sometimes I see them getting frustrated for some reason or other and lose their compassion if only for a moment. I think we have all been there done that but we keep coming back, or most of us at least.