Ask any actor preparing for a character role – to deliver a great performance, actors immerse themselves in the life of the person they are impersonating. The same is true when it comes to imitating God. We need to take a good look at Him before we begin walking in His ways. God is many things, but one of His finest features is His untiring ability to love.
Here is a problem though: God is God, and we are not. How are we supposed to love like Him? I believe this is one of the reasons why God gave us His Son – so that we have a hands-on example how to love like God as a human being. We can study Jesus, look at His behavior and get inspired by simply reading the gospels. I love that the gospels were written by four different people – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Four different people represent four different angles, so we are able to study the life of Jesus in depth.
If our life stinks, then it’s not just all about washing our dirty laundry. Beating ourselves up and focusing on our hang-ups is not going to help us grow. We want to get to the point where we naturally exude a sweet aroma. Metaphorically speaking, Jesus has a way of working our hearts from a foul-smelling Stinkhorn into a sweet-smelling Rose.
Take new parents for instance. Ask them about their first child. How did that impact their lives? Parents will tell you that having children has totally changed their lives. Their hearts grew wider with every child added to the family. And just like a new son or daughter causes a parent’s heart to grow, this is similar to how Jesus operates. We open our hearts and let Him in, and our hearts continue to get bigger. We walk with Jesus, and our hearts keep growing. And as we learn to love the God-way, we develop empathy and become more involved.
Love has many faces. Falling in love is a prominent part of it – and based on the many love songs we wrote, probably an all-time favorite – however I think everybody agrees that staying in love is the weightier part. Another expression of divine love is investing into people without expecting anything back. Eventually it dawns on us that generous love actually is truly satisfying. – Granted, we may run into disappointments and heartaches in the process, but in hindsight everybody will say that this has been absolutely worth the effort. The best part of it is: Spreading the sweet aroma called “love”, our lives no longer stink.