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Friday, July 31, 2015

Finding our family in faith

Sunday, August 29, 2010

We each have different family traditions. Whether verbalized or not, there are specific ways a family consciously and subconsciously lives out its priorities.

One tradition that is important to me is getting an annual family portrait. "Portrait" sounds like such a formal process. Most of the portraits are snapshots, which I like even more.

Over time not only is it amazing to see how much my children, my wife and I have changed, I find it even more incredible how much we resemble each other. There is no doubt that we are related. We share a family resemblance. Regrettably, my children did not have the good fortune of inheriting my wife's looks but are forced to suffer their entire lives because they resemble their dad. But we are family.

Faith in God ushers you into a new family. The Scriptures share with us in Peter's first letter that as followers of the Lord we don't just hold to a set of principles and priorities; our lives are to resemble our new-found family. Being a member of that family means you adopt a family resemblance. Our lives are to look like God's.

Peter, quoting from Scripture, writes, "Be holy because I am holy." Here, the Lord through two sources is saying to all of humanity, "Be what I am because of what I am."

My conviction is that this verse is not speaking of men and women becoming divine. The Lord is calling all who will obediently follow him not to become something but to be something. He wants those who believe in him to be like him.

We behave like what we emulate. We behave like those we surround ourselves with. That doesn't mean that you, a 5-foot-2-inch person will become an NBA star because you spend time with NBA stars. It does mean that you will demonstrate similarities in character, priorities and even spirituality.

We have family friends who adopted their only child when she was just weeks old. If you weren't told that, you would never know. She shares her parent's mannerisms, she acts like her parents and she even looks like her parents. She shares a family resemblance not because of biology but because she is a member of that family.

As a member of the Lord's family be like him in all that you are.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer.

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