Friday, October 26, 2012

#116 Doppelgangers

Have you ever been walking through a store or driving down the road and think you see someone you know headed your way?  You recognize certain physical traits or mannerisms that tell you that the person you see coming is your friend, relative or acquaintance.  Maybe you prepare to wave or say hello and perhaps even go out of your way to make sure that they notice you too only to realize as they draw nearer and nearer that the one coming at you is not who you thought it was.

It can be so embarrassing to have this happen.  I have had people look at me like I am crazy and I've even had one or two look slightly weirded-out.  At the moment you realize your mistake you just want to crawl in a hole or maybe you even say, "Sorry, I thought you were so-in-so."  There is hardly a way to recover that does not leave you feeling like you wish you were somewhere else far, far away.

These situations are exacerbated when the person whom we mistake for our friend or family member bears an uncanny resemblance to our loved one.  There have even been times that the person could pass for a twin to my friend or loved one.  Some have even said that we all have a twin somewhere in the world.  When someone bears near-resemblance to us they are referred to as our doppelganger or look-alike.  These embarrassing moments have taught me to wait until someone gets close enough to clearly identify.  It saves a lot of awkwardness on both sides of the experience.

While I have no idea whether or not doppelgangers actually exist or if genetics just gets close occasionally, I do know that we are called to mirror and "look" like Someone.  Over and over again in the New Testament we are called to be like Jesus.  No, not in physical appearance but in character and deeds.  Paul reminds us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1).  In other words since Jesus has called us we ought to walk--live out our lives--in such a way as to honor Jesus in all we do and say.  Peter encourages us to lay aside sinful things and drink the pure milk of the word so we can grow and become like Christ (1 Peter 2:1, 2).  Over and over we are called to be like Christ.  Yes, I assert today that Jesus wants us to be His doppelgangers.  He wants us to be like Him: loving, kind, patient, willing to serve, ready to speak of the Father's love for us, and on and on.

The problem comes when we profess Jesus with the mouth and deny Him by how we live.  Anyone can say, "I'm a Christian."  But only one with a living connection to the God of heaven can actually live each day letting Christ have control of the life.  And it really comes down to only two choices.  We are either going to look like Christ or Satan in how we live out our lives.  And while I struggle each day trying to let Jesus help me overcome myself, I truly want to be and "look" like Jesus.  How about you?  Are you more concerned about mirroring the world or do you too want to look and be like Jesus?

Dear Father in Heaven,
Today we thank You for your goodness, mercy, love, and grace.  But we especially thank You for Jesus and the salvation that comes to us so freely from Your gracious hand.  Please draw close to us just now and give us the power to overcome ourselves.  May we not be mistaken for the world, but may the world see Jesus in  us everyday.  For we pray now in Christ's holy name, Amen!