February 4, 2020
A Family Resemblance
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:48
Our first grandchild was born a few days before Thanksgiving. As family members and friends came to congratulate the parents and welcome this precious new member of the two families, one conversational thread was repeated at nearly every visit: who does the baby look like?
Two sets of adoring grandparents hurriedly printed their pictures and showed them around to anyone who was interested. As the photos were scrutinized, the same topic would come up. Detailed discussions took place about the shape of the baby’s mouth, the color of his hair (well, peach fuzz, to be honest!), the size of his hands, a comparison of his birth weight (five pounds, five ounces) to that of his parents. Did the shape of the head remind you of his uncle? Don’t you think that nose is really like his mother’s? Surely that lack of hair can be attributed to one of his grandfathers! Whatever specifics we analyzed, all of us were expecting to see some resemblance to the family lines that have come together in our sweet little guy.
In the midst of this happy discussion, the thought came to me that when people observe our Christian lives, they should be able to clearly see a resemblance to our Heavenly Father. That resemblance will not be in terms of physical likeness, but in aspects of our Christian character and deportment. And observers should not have to study long and hard to pick out the similarities!
Our new birth into God’s family is just the starting point. Then we can and should aspire to be like God in our thoughts and actions. The motives of our hearts and the words of our mouths should reflect the fact that we have been born into God’s family. We can ask God to help us bear a likeness to Him in our holiness of heart, our love for others, and our desire to see His Kingdom advanced. Paul challenged Timothy to be “an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). That same advice is pertinent for us as we do our best to be “perfect” (meaning whole or complete) even as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
As my grandson grows, I suspect his likeness to his parents will become more obvious, and as we grow in Christ, we should daily become more and more like Him. When people meet and associate with us, we want the clear impression to be left in their minds: There’s a child of God! I can see the family resemblance!
Dear Lord, help me this day to reflect upon You and Your nature, and to reflect my relationship with You in all that I do or say.