When I thought about the topic for this post, a scene from 101 Dalmatians came to mind. It is the scene where they talking about how people look like their dogs. Do you ever see people who look like their dogs? Apparently, it is a proven fact that we often pick our dogs based on a certain physical or personality trait that reminds us of us (It is true! Google it!).
On the flip side of that, how many couples do you know that look like each other? Spend enough years with a person and you will acquire some of their habits, mannerisms, and, sometimes, physical traits.
I remember when I was in my early 20s, I went out one night with some friends from high school whom I had not seen in a while. They told me one of our friends had a new boyfriend. They showed me a group photo and asked me to point out who she was dating. She was not in the picture. I pointed to a guy that looked like her – brown hair, dark glasses, not overly tall without an athletic build. Just like her!
And sometimes you’ll be walking down the street and see older couples wearing the same jackets, track suits, sweatshirts, etc. I have to say, if my husband and I accidentally wear the same thing, I will go up and change. I am not going to be one of those couples – as cute as it is on other, elderly, couples.
Often we are told we look just like our parents (I look like my mother)
or our children look like us (my daughter is a mini-me).
But that is all surface stuff, the parts we have no control over – without the help of an expensive surgeon. Who do you look like on the inside? I am not referring to you actual insides! I am talking about your heart, your soul, your personality!
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, the sea and the sky, the day and the night, the sun and the moon. He created all the plants and all the animals that wander the earth, sea and sky. Everything had a place and a purpose (though I am still trying to figure out the purpose of black flies and mosquitoes).
Then he decided he needed someone to oversee and the animals and crops. He created man. He then decided that man could not be left alone (and if you have ever watched any YouTube videos showing why women will live longer than men, you understand why they are not meant to be left alone!). So God created the woman to be the man’s helper.
When God created the man and woman, He created them in his image. Does that mean God looks like a normal human being? Probably not! On the inside, where it counts, they were created like God – accepting, loving, tolerant, unashamed, kind – all the good parts. Unfortunately, the whole snake and forbidden fruit situation changed all of that. People started to learn evil – hatred, intolerance, anger, pride, fear, judging, etc.
Centuries later, when Jesus walked on the earth, He tried to remind us of this. Jesus was humble, sent to earth to heal and to teach and to serve.
We are reminded by Paul in various verses about how we can be like Jesus, they way God created us to be. Philippians 2, in the NIV Bible is titled: Imitating God’s Humility. Verses 5-8 gives us more specifics.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Paul tells us to not equate ourselves with God, be humble, be obedient and serve others.
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Walk in the way of love – I love that! It seems to summarize it all.
We are fulfilled in so many ways when we are humble, not putting ourselves first or being proud.
We are encouraged by teaching, whether it be at school, teaching your own children or teaching on the Word of God.
We are energized by serving others. How good does it feel when we volunteer at church or in the community, or even just helping our neighbour? This is what we were designed to do.
When we love, we are loved. When we show love to others, even if they don’t love us back, we tend to be treated with more respect, kindness and honesty in return (which are various forms of love). When we love our spouses, our children , our parents, our families, our friends, we get love in return. And most importantly, we are loved by Jesus, the Bible tells me so.
So the next time you are looking at pictures of you and your family, amazed at how much you are starting to look like your mother (whether you like it or not), ask yourself if you look like Jesus. When people look at you, and see your actions and behaviours, do they see Jesus in you?