Max Lucado recounts a wonderful analogy of how God’s children carry an honored position and choice to reflect our Father. A rabbi related this to him. A CEO on the top floor was unknown and unseen to the employees but the daughter was among them, demanding one employee to get her a donut, interrupting another’s work and requiring them to do something for her instead. The employees got quite an impression of him through the attitudes and behavior of the daughter. After all, should she not be a reflection of him? Apples don’t fall too far from the original tree.
However, the rabbi went on, what if the daughter brought the first employee a donut and sought to help the second, offering words of kindness and encouragement? Then, despite not knowing the father, the employees would have a picture of a benevolent and kind leader, rather than a demanding one.
This impacted me as one entrusted with His Name, to bear it well in reflecting His nature. Several of the first things God reveals are His creativity and goodness in making and filling the earth with good things, His generosity, His love and desire for communication and relationship with man and woman – all in the first several chapters of Genesis. His first self-description is that He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness and truth…” (Ex 34:6). Jesus is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature…” (Hebrews 1:3). He only did what He saw His father do and spoke what He heard Him say. To a world desperate for these qualities, how am I radiating the name of our Father, revealing Who He is in my speech, attitudes and behavior?
I work with people with dementia. Recently, one mentioned how kind her mother was. She could not remember her name or town, or how many siblings she had, but remembered her for her kind nature. Oh, to be remembered that way, for that to be the name we carry with us and the legacy we leave behind. This is the very fragrance of Christ, so that upon hearing our name, one will also be reminded of the name and nature of God. Generosity and kindness are not forgotten even when other details have been. They are eternal because they are of God.
Worshipers naturally reflect what they worship, so we don’t have to ‘try’ to reflect something we are not. But as we spend time reflecting upon the very nature of God, His likeness will become ours.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.