My husband has sprouted quite a beard since his November 2008 retirement. Its snowy whiteness and increasing length have garnered a number of stares. Remarks from older church ushers as well as younger children have linked Dave to Santa Claus. Earlier this summer two children entering Chik-Fil-A spotted Dave and softly questioned each other saying, “Ho, Ho?” In a recent bubble bath, our granddaughter even imitated Grandpa with her own version of a beard. Clever, eh? We find it endearing when children desire to mimic those they love.
How much our Heavenly Father must love it when we imitate the attributes He treasures: love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, just to pull from Paul’s list in Galatians 5. Moving from a legalistic “I ought,” that seeks to earn God’s favor or aims to pridefully receive the praises of men, to a heart response of “I truly take joy in my Father,” involves sanctification. Measuring the motives of the heart takes brutal honesty, the type the Puritans often displayed in their confessional prayers. The skill in burning away the dross from my heart takes me time and quiet. The Bible’s admonition to “Be still and know that I am God,” allows the Holy Spirit to purify the imitating I do of my Heavenly Father. And I want that for His glory and my good.