I admit that I am a fan of Facebook. It’s such a great way to keep up with people. One of my favorite things to do is check out old friends’ photos. You know, friends from high school that you haven’t seen in ages. Time and time again I find myself saying things like, “Man, they look just like their dad” or “Wow, she’s turned into her mother.” I’m pretty sure someone’s thought the same thing when looking at my pictures, as well. It’s funny, as teenagers most of us dressed in ways that distinguished us from our parents. We didn’t realize then that doing so was just delaying the inevitable. Time and genetics would eventually get each of us whether we wanted it to or not.
For those of us who are believers, we trust that something more powerful than genetics is at work within us transforming us into the image of our heavenly Father. We are confident that the Holy Spirit is bringing about a change in us that will cause us to look like God (2 Cor 3:18). But what does that involve? What does it mean to favor our Father in heaven? Does God have graying hair or a double chin? Is getting thicker around the middle making me more like the Almighty? Obviously, that’s not what we’re going for here.
No, we look more like God as we take on his nature and practice his ways. Jesus gave us an example of what I’m getting at in Matthew 5, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” In other words, learn to love your enemies instead of hating them. Practice praying for them instead of cursing them. Commit to forgiving them, instead of plotting their demise. Hope for their redemption instead of secretly desiring their condemnation. Do this, and you’ll start to look a lot like your Father in heaven. How can we be sure of that? For one thing, we know that God our Father has already done all those things for us.
God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8.