A few months ago, our oldest son and his wife had their first child. It’s also our first grandchild, so it’s been an exciting time of welcoming this new life into our family. My wife and I have now joined the chorus of those who have gone before us saying, “Having grandkids is awesome!”
As can be expected, one of the first questions we ask anyone who meets our new granddaughter is: “Who do you think she looks like?” That question is then followed by a rigorous discussion of whether or not she has her mom’s eyes, or her dad’s nose - or whether or not she looks like great-grandma Hazel on grandpa’s side. Usually the answer is that our granddaughter is a combination of all of that. So she’s some of the father's family, and some of the mother’s - and if I’m lucky (and my granddaughter is unlucky), I get an honorary mention.
I’ve also learned over the years that kids “looking like their family” almost always goes beyond just their physical looks, as they often take on the characteristics of their family as well. Sometimes this similarity is so strong that I'm amazed watching siblings hang out together, because their mannerisms are the same, and the words they use are the same, and so it's obvious to the whole world that they are family.
As we’ve been going through this “looking like our family” conversation about our granddaughter, it’s gotten me wondering about my spiritual family, and if I look like my Father in Heaven. Now obviously we don't know physically what God looks like, but we do know His nature and His character and the way He behaves, and so that means there are ways that I can resemble Him. There is that “family culture” that I can reflect in my own life. So when the world looks at me, would they say I resemble the “family of man”, or the “family of God”? And as I’ve pondered that, I’ve come to the conclusion that most folks would probably say what most parents say - that I'm a combination of the two. And while that might be fine for babies, it's not really a good thing with children of God.
James 4:4 puts it like this: “Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” What this verse helps us understand is that we can’t be a friend to both God and the world. Does this mean that we isolate ourselves from the world around us? Clearly that’s not what Jesus did. He was a friend to sinners – but everything He did pointed others to His Father. And that means we have to strive to look like Him - to take on the values, the nature and the character of His family - so that when the world looks at us, they clearly see our Father.
And that's our challenge for today - to live like we belong to our Father in Heaven. So take a minute and pray with me that today we will truly live as children of God - reflecting Him in all we think, and do, and say.