If one accepts from the Genesis account that man was created in the image of God, then one’s picture of God and how He operates is extremely powerful. If I believe that I am created as a reflection of the divine, then in how I think and act I will inescapably attempt to model my God concept. If I envision a God of wrath, judgment, and vengeance, then my own life will be conducted with the same emphasis.
Emulating God is the most basic definition of righteousness. Nothing could be a greater show of respect for the divine than to think and behave as He does.
The image in which man was created defines his essential nature. What comes most naturally to man should be to operate according to the nature or image upon which he was designed in the beginning. If one can operate in alignment with that original design and purpose how could the result be other than divinely ordained and righteous?
The problem here is that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has warped our picture of God’s image. That forbidden knowledge has led mankind to believe that God is determined to judge us as flawed and having forfeited the divine image. Supposedly we traded our divine likeness for the likeness of a pseudo-deity, Satan.
The fact of the matter is that our true image never changed from that of the divine. Instead the knowledge of good and evil only led us astray causing a false picture of God’s image which we then reflect onto ourselves and others with devastatingly ill effects.
Only by properly understanding God and his nature can we ever properly understand and totally accept ourselves and our fellowman.