At a very young age, I began to raid my parents’ closet and put on my dad’s business attire (head to toe) and try to imitate him in both dress and stature. This ended very quickly when he was less than pleased that I was wrinkling his crisply pressed suits, but that’s beside the point. The fact is, I perceived that doing so was practicing something to which I was supposed to aspire. It was in my best interest to mimic him in order to learn how to be a mature, cool grown-up (the aspiration of every young kid, I feel).
However, when it comes to God, this apparently does not translate. To my heavenly Father, the Creator of love and all things good, I don’t seem to attribute the same importance. While my dad was significant enough to imitate when I was young, now that I’m older, imitating the Father seems…childish. The voice in my head shouts, “I’m a grown-up now, I don’t need anyone to show me the way! I’ll figure it out myself!” Yet, this seems both immature and pompous. Where do I get off telling God I know love better than He who is love (1 John 4:7)?
I have the perfect example of love pure in the life of Jesus, yet I choose to ignore it constantly. I have been brought into the light that is the eminence of God and yet I choose to hide in the darkness of my lust and idolatry. I am far too easily pleased by lesser things. And constantly I’m looking elsewhere to get my fix. I have a loving Father lighting the path of love for me, but something holds me back. Who is He to say He is right and no other?
Then, it hit me.
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” — Ephesians 5:14
God has given me the greatest gift I could ever receive. He gave me the opportunity to have an identity in Himself, the the Creator, the ultimate Being, the greatest power of the universe. He gave me the once in a lifetime opportunity to commune intimately with the only perfect thing ever, Himself. He sealed that promise with…Himself. This fact alone means that God’s either pretty high on Himself, or He could find no greater power to invoke.
Therefore, I as a part of Him can have no blemish in my entire being as it would conflict with God’s perfect nature. Where there is light, darkness cannot also exist (Ephesians 5:8). I have been brought into a relationship with the Holy and my sin is only a breaking of that relationship. This is why the sexually immoral or impure and the covetous (idolator) have no place in the kingdom (Ephesians 5:5). These are merely examples the church at Ephesus struggled with in particular, but every time I turn from and rebel against God, I am betraying the relationship with the only Father who can love me infinitely and perfectly without fail.
I do not resist the rebellion which seems to sear my insides at times because I feel I must. No, it is an act of love toward the One who loved me first. I resist because He has given me the power in His Spirit. Because of His grace, I am able to seek ultimately to please Him as a showing of my gratitude for the overwhelming gift which He has granted me. Albeit, a gift that I do not have the faculties to fully appreciate, but a gift I know to be far more than priceless.
I call myself His son because in the beginning, He called me son and sealed that adoption with the gift of His discerning Spirit to guide me in the imitation of Him. I could not discern the direction of the Spirit were it not for my brain, however, validating the Spirit’s inherent truth. It leads me in the path that brings me to my ultimate good in life, to love (God and neighbor) and to be loved.
I have been loved with a surpassing love and given a way to stride toward loving in kind. Out of respect and gratitude, should I not do just that? Because, in the end, doesn’t life just come down to love?
Whom, what and how well do you choose to love today?