"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children." Ephesians 5:1 NIV
Yes, I know many of you heard me preach on this scripture yesterday (Sermon here). However, since this was today's daily scripture from the Bible app, I'm endeavoring to find something new to say. So, hopefully, you will hear something new in today’s message.
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 -- think of the movie Babe, where a sheep raise an orphaned piglet. Another psychological phenomenon is the social proximity effect, which means the more time we spend with someone, the more we become like them.
How do these principles of psychology apply 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 that he calls us to him. When we respond to his call, we begin to learn what it means to be like Christ -- to be his imitators. Through prayer and study, we learn new behaviors. The longer we spend with Christ, the more we should become like Christ. Thoroughly imprinted as a child of God, we mature in understanding what being his example means.
Father God, thank you for the opportunity to be your children. Please help us become more and more like you; imprint upon our souls what it means to be righteous. We pray this in the name of your perfect example, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Blessings, Pastor TIm