Ask any actor preparing for a character role: To deliver a great performance, actors immerse themselves in the life style, way of thinking, and mannerisms of the person they are impersonating. This is what sets apart good acting from bad acting.
The same is true when it comes to imitating God. We all need to take a good look at His ways to become His imitator. God is so many things, but one of His finest features is His untiring ability to love. His love never stops. Imitate that, and you have a lifelong assignment!
Here’s a problem: God is God, and we are not. How are we supposed to love like God? We’re only human! Well, God knows that, and He gave us His Son so that we have a hands-on example how to love as a human being. We have the great opportunity to study Jesus, look at His behavior and get inspired by just reading the gospels.
What I love about the gospels is that they were written by four different people: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Four different people, four different angles! Reading these four accounts is a great way to do a character study, don’t you think?
If our life stinks, here is a way to introduce a new perfume: Get closer to Jesus by studying His life. Jesus has a way of changing our hearts and spreading His perfume there.
Take new parents for instance. Ask them about their first child. How did that impact their life? Parents will tell you that having children has totally changed their lives. Their hearts got bigger with every child they added to the family. And just like a new son or daughter causes a parent’s heart to grow, that’s similar to how Jesus operates. We open our hearts and let Him in, and our hearts get bigger. We walk with Jesus, and our hearts keep growing. And as we learn to love the God-way, we’re getting more and more involved in the world around us.
How exhilarating it is to love … falling in love is a prominent part of it. Staying in love is the weightier part. People who have been married for 50 years talk about that kind of love. But love has many faces. Investing in people without expecting anything back is another expression of love. Then it hits you from behind. The lifestyle of loving generously is actually fun! Granted, we run into disappointments, our hearts get broken multiple times, but in hindsight everybody will say: better to love than not to love at all.
And guess what: as we spread the sweet perfume called “love”, our lives no longer stink!