Have you ever noticed that people have the tendency to mirror the actions of others? For example, if somebody yawns, there is a good chance that you will yawn as well. If somebody has a drink of water, you will begin to be thirsty. Even if someone else sneezes, it seems to be the case that others will also begin to sneeze. If you want to test this, take a sip of a drink sometime when you’re in a group of people. Most likely, someone else will take a sip of their drink.
It has been proven that couples who have been together for a lifetime begin to look alike. The reason for this is that a married couple tends to mirror each other’s expressions through the years. If one spouse frowns, the other spouse frowns. If one spouse smiles, the other spouse smiles. If one spouse expresses excitement, the other spouse expresses excitement. After years of using the same muscles in the face at the same time, the couple develops the same wrinkles and lines.
We all have the tendency and capability of following the actions of others. This being the case, it’s quite interesting that Jesus came into the world to be our example. Our aim is to become more and more like God the Father. The way that we do this is by becoming more and more like the Son through the help of the Spirit.
This is the Christian faith in a nutshell. Peter writes that we have “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). The more that we mirror the behavior of Jesus, the more that we will begin to look like Him in our conduct.
As is often the case, Jesus’ deeds were accompanied by His words. Jesus’ actions gave rise to teachable moments, and Jesus’ teaching was often illustrated through His actions. This is the case in John 14 when Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. This act of service was accompanied by Jesus’ words. After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus taught, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 14:14-15).
However, we have a choice of whom we will mirror. It’s possible that we could look more and more like the evil in the world. This was the case for some people in Jesus’ time, which is why He said, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (John 8:44-45).
By the end of our lives, we will look like someone. Through a lifetime of mirroring behavior, our very appearance is changed. In terms of our conduct, who will we mirror? Hopefully, we are looking more and more like our humble Savior.