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"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children." Ephesians 5:1 NIV

In nature, something called imprinting occurs in a newborn animal. The tiny creature bonds to the larger animal, usually the parent, and learns how to navigate its environment from that figure. Imprinting may also occur across species. For example, when a baby animal loses its mother and is adopted by another species, it imitates the behaviors of the new mother. Remember the 1995 children’s movie Babe, where a border collie, Rex, raises the orphaned piglet, Babe, who desires to become a sheepherder?

Akin to imprinting is the psychological phenomenon of the social proximity effect, which means the more time we spend with someone, the more we become like them.

How can we apply these natural and psychological principles to today’s verse? By our spiritual nature, we are not imprinted to be Godly. Through original sin, we have been orphaned. It is through God's prevenient grace that he calls us to him. When we respond to his call, we learn what it means to be like Christ and follow his example. Through prayer and scripture study, we learn new behaviors, and the more time we spend with him, the more we become like him.

Father God, thank you for the invitation to be your children. Please help us in prayer to pause and listen for your voice; as we read, give us understanding, and as we live, be obedient to the Holy Spirit. May we never stop growing to be more like you. Imprint upon our souls what it means to be righteous and how to live in love. We pray this in the name of your perfect example, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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