As a former youth pastor, I learned what makes parents proud. Parents love to hear how their children reflect them . . .
He looks so much like you. She has your eyes. She has your intelligence. He has your business savvy. She definitely has your athletic ability. I see you in him every time I look at him. The apple did not fall far from the tree with her personality.
We reflect attributes of our parents for reasons of both nature and nurture. Many of our characteristics are genetic and hereditary (nature). We also become more like our parents in time, as we are impacted by their example (nurture).
In the same way, you reflect your Father’s attributes because of nature and nurture. When you became a Christian, the Bible says you were born again (John 3:3). God gave you a new nature, His nature. While you still struggle with sin because you live in an earthly body, you have been changed into a new person internally. And you no longer continually live in sin.
In fact, the Scripture explicitly says that God’s seed (“sperm” in the original language) lives in you. “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 niv).
The DNA test is clear. You belong to God. The evidence is that you do not continually live a life of sin.
As God’s child, God nurtures you and develops your character. He continually molds you and forms you. He transforms your mind (Rom. 12:2) and works in your life (Phil. 2:13) so you will live out your identity as His child.
Your Father demands and desires for you to reflect His name and nature. He is pleased and proud when you reflect His attributes to the world around you. While you will never be perfect on this earth, you are instructed to imitate Christ and reflect your Father’s character.
- Be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16).
- Forgive as Christ forgave you (Col. 3:13).
- Accept others as Christ accepted you (Rom. 15:7).
- Be merciful as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:36).
- Live a life of love just as Christ loved us (Eph. 5:2).
- Live in the light, as your Father is Light (1 John 1:7).
As His child, you have received His nature and nurture. He has called you to Himself and has named you His child. Now live worthy of the calling you have received by reflecting His character to the world around you.
The reality: You are God’s child. He has lavished His great love on you.
The response: Trust. Obey. And reflect His nature.
Adapted from Identity (2008, B&H Publishing Group)