As I picked up the blow dryer I stared into the mirror. For one split second the reflection I saw was that of my mother. It was weird. I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again and then shook the incident off as simple exhaustion. Turning back to the mirror I pulled up a strand of hair and proceeded to go off on a ridiculous tirade about frizz and gray and such. And that’s when it hit me.
Oh my gosh, I look like my mother and sound like my sister!
I. AM. THEM.
Was I caught up in some twisted episode of the Twilight Zone?
Actually, I was taking on the expressions and words of the two beloved women with whom I had just spent 8 trying days and nights.
And that’s perfectly normal.
The truth is, good or bad, stressed or not, we will look and act like the people with whom we spend most of our time.
One of my favorite people in all the world is from England. There are so many things I love about my friend Geinor—her kindness, her generosity, her sharp wit, but I’m especially fond of the lilt in her voice and the colloquialism from her area of origin. When we lived near each other in Tampa we spent time together nearly every day. And after a while I started saying some things the way she would.
I might tell someone, “I’ll collect you at half past twelve.”
When normally I would say, “I’ll come get-cha at 12:30.”
Ahem, I’ll collect you, sounds way more refined.
I wish I could hang on to the British accent, I rather fancy it. But as soon as Geinor and I moved away from each other I lost what little “proper” English I had acquired from my lovely friend.
We tend to imitate those we are with most.
It’s almost impossible not to.
Isn’t that why we tell our kids not to hang out with certain people because we know they’ll start acting like them?
1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds us “Bad company corrupts good character.”
And as parents we know our children will do in excess what we do in moderation.
They are with us more than anyone else and they will do what we do and more.
Taking all this into consideration, shouldn’t it also hold true, the more time I spend with Jesus the more I should be a reflection of Him?
Scripture confirms this in John 15:4-5 where Jesus says, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you…If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…” (NIV)
His fruit. The Fruit of His Spirit.
And “The fruit of the Spirit is, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22 (NIV)
And those are the characteristics I want reflected in my life.
I notice the more time I spend in God’s presence, in prayer and reading and studying His word, the less self-seeking I am. Unfortunately I also notice when I neglect my time with God I’m easily persuaded by the world and become totally self-absorbed again.
I love my family and friends and admire many things about them but at the end of the day, the reflection I want others to see in me is not of them but of Jesus.
Well, maybe Jesus with a British accent.
Dear Jesus, you are my life line. You’re my joy, love, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, and every bit of my self-control. Without you, I’m all over the map with my selfishness. I want to be a reflection of You because You are the best I can give to others. I pray that You will nudge my heart, pinch it if you have to, to spend every day in Your presence so that I may be a gift in someone else’s life and in that way bring You glory. It’s in Your mighty name I pray. Amen.