Tuesday, August 9, 2011

She Sounds Just Like Her Mother

Recently my daughter and her family were visiting us. Her 2-year-old was playing “Mommy,” earnestly putting her baby to bed. As I eavsedropped, I heard her say the same phrases her Mommy says, use the same tone of voice, give the same care to the arrangement of the blankets, and devote the same loving attention to the bedtime procedures. I thought, “She sounds just like her mother.” In fact, my granddaughter was practicing in order to grow to be just like her Mommy.

Children learn through imitation; it’s a principle we learn in education. It’s also a principle taught in the Bible.

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children (NASB).

Here we are told to imitate God, but the reason for it is found in the previous verses.

Ephesians 4:23-24 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

In other words, in order to change to be like God, we should imitate him like a child would imitate his father. Imitating him helps us actually take on his attitudes and godly character. I would love to hear someone say of me, “She sounds just like her heavenly father.” But there is another reason for us to imitate God.

When I heard my granddaughter, my first thought was, “Look what that shows me about her Mommy.” Her imitations gave me a glimpse of the kind of mother my daughter was. That works the same way with those who observe us. By our imitations, the observer gets a glimpse of what God is like. That picture is one way to put God in realistic terms that are understandable to someone else.

So there is a double challenge here for me: imitate God in order to grow to be like him and in such a way that others will come to know him. That may challenge you as well.

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