Family Resemblance

“Then we will be mature just as Christ is and we will be completely like him.”  Ephesians 4:13 (CEV)

Family members tend to resemble each other. Children tend to look like their parents. Siblings tend to look like each other. Such similarities are more obvious in some families than others (and more welcome in some families than others.) But the genetic inheritance of physical characteristics is a fact of life.

Less obvious, but still very real, is the similarity of personalities within a family. People tend to think and behave like the people they live with. Our attitudes, preferences and priorities are shaped by our parents and other immediate family members.

In God’s family there are also family resemblances. Not physical similarities, to be sure, but a oneness of character and spirit that mimics the Father who has made each of us into a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Jesus set the pattern we are to follow in our everyday life. His personality and way of dealing with others is exactly what our heavenly Father expects of us. After all, each of us shares a common paternity with Jesus.

All Christians are members of the same family. God is our Father. Because we are his children we live, work, play and worship with each other. As God continues to shape us, our attitudes, preferences and priorities will become more like his. Increasing Christian maturity will be marked by an increasing similarity to our brothers and sisters.

Will we still display differences? Of course! Will we sometimes disagree? Without a doubt! But as we individually become more like Jesus (our oldest brother), we will increasingly become more like each other as we follow his command to “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mark 12:31). Our spiritual growth can be measured by the extent to which we are in one accord with other spirit-filled members of our family (Acts 2:1).