In Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller notes, the rulers of ancient Near East — the historical and cultural context within which Genesis should be read — “set up images…of themselves in places where they exercised…authority.” And these images “presented the ruler himself as symbols of his presence and authority….” “This act of ruling is a defining aspect of what it means to be made in God’s image.”
So how do we rule? Through work:
We share in doing the things that God has done in creation — bringing order out of chaos, creatively building a civilization out of the material of physical and human nature, caring for all that God has made.
I’ve always understood being “conformed to the image of” Jesus Christ — i.e., being sanctified — as growing in character such as love, joy and peace. However, Tim Keller’s observation suggests being sanctified means something broader: it includes learning to work well in our chosen profession.