“If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” I can buy a nice Michael Jordan jersey, but after a few shots people will probably figure out that I’m not Mike….. I may “want to be like Mike, but I’m not”. Another way to say this is “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”. Hmmmmm. Okay, let’s elevate the prose of this BLOG.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux said “what we love, we shall grow to resemble”. While this may not be true on the basketball court, it is true in life. If we really love someone, we tend to start to resemble them. You can’t fake it. If I really love God, over time I should start to resemble God…. I should start to act like him…. to speak like him.
In today’s gospel from Matthew 23, Jesus tells us to “practice what we preach”. If we do, we shall begin to resemble what we preach. Example is much more powerful than just words. You just can’t fake it…people see through empty words. I can give a talk about the Lord and his commands but if I’m not living those words out, the talk is hollow and not convicting. The more I resemble the Lord in my life, the more power in the words I speak. This doesn’t happen all at once. St. Bernard says we shall “grow to resemble”…it takes times to grow in holiness.
I remember a Pentecostal preacher once say that we can be very proud if we memorize a scripture passage and can repeat it , but if that’s all there is to it, we should just get a tape recorder and listen to it. The key is that the word of God transforms our life and we begin to resemble the Lord, the author of the word of God.
I’ve had good friends who more and more resembled the Lord as they grew older. It was just good to be in their presence. You could experience the love of God when they spoke or when they smiled or in their kindness. They loved God and more and more grew to resemble Him.
So let’s not be discouraged if we have a way to go in resembling the Lord. Let’s just ask him to help us. Lord I desire to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength…help me to receive the great love you have for me so that it will begin to overflow to others. This will happen. It’s what the Lord wants for us.
The Lord is at work in our life. He’s loving us and we’re learning to love him, and in time, we will more and more resemble the Lord who we love. And that is very good news.