God Impressions

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Sometimes I love watching a masterful impressionist: one so good that when they begin the impression they don't even need to tell you who they are doing. You know a bad impressionsit don't you? They're the guys who tell you they're doing Robert DeNiro* and you still don't see the resemblance.

They really talented guys slip in and out of characters like they're flip flops, and they don't pause to tell you who they are now.

It's like they become the other person. Like Frank Caliendo here

That's a good impression right there. I mean, he didn't need to tell you he was doing President Bush, he did, but it was unnecessary. And I love too, how he breaks down the aspects of the impression: the squinting, the head bobbing, the hand gestures. This could almost be a video on how to do a President Bush impression.

It's a masterful impression.

Ephesians 5:1 says this:

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children"

Hmm, be imitators of God.

Where's a video on how to do this?

What would be part of a good God impression?

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self Control, Holiness, Mercy, Justice, Caring, and more.

They would all have to be in there.

Some days I'll struggle with any combination of those. Okay, most days I'm doing great if I get one down.

If imitating God involves being all of that, modeling the all of those characteristic, it seems like Paul is instructing an impossible task.

But maybe not.

There's a great deal of hope in the second half of the verse: "as dearly loved children."

I've never tried, but I bet I could do a pretty good impression of my dad. Sometimes, I'd call my sister mom. Not because she was acting motherly, but because her and my mom do some things very much alike. Sometimes Sheena calls Makiah "Christopher." Why? Because we know where Makiah get's it. And sometimes I call Sheena "Sheila."

Recently I was at a camp with some students. One day, there were two gentlemen leaning against a counter in the dinning hall. One was older than I, and the other about 6, maybe 8, years of age. They were undeniably father and son.

If you held up two head shots of these guys I'd probably say there was no relation. But when they stood together it was blatantly obvious.  They stood the same. There was something about their genetic make up that caused them to pose, and move, their lanky bodies the same way. And without even making an effort.

Then naturally had the same posture.

Children are like their parents.

It's genetic.

Accept it, it's true.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old had gone, the new has come!"

The new creation we are becoming, when we join Christ, is sons and daughters of God. That means new family lines, new spiritual DNA, new way of being, new tendencies.

I'm not sure that means we can work on our God imitation while sitting on the couch. The new muscles required to show justice, and mercy, and patience, and love, and gentleness, and etc. need to be worked and toned. But they're in there waiting to be shown off.

They're like my six pack. Oh it's in there somewhere, it's just very well hidden.

To balance this thought, we don't achieve a great God impression on our own either. We need to work on it, because practice makes it better: more visible, more God like. However, we don't get there on our own strength. God has given us, through his spirit, the spiritual framework to be more like him, but he doesn't leave us there. When we practice these characteristics God himself becomes our trainer helping us develop muscles that are growing inside of us.

God, as our father, is desiring to work with us, helping us, hone a better God imitation, so that others might look at us and know what God is truly like. 

_ _ _

*because everyone does DeNiro especially the guys who can't do impressions.