"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children" –Ephesians 5:1
Don't you just love to listen to kids repeat all the things that they hear? Sometimes as parents it makes us smile—like when Grace (almost 3) asks me, "Mommy, did I tell you today how much I love you?" (Her daddy asks her that often.) And sometimes it is quite humbling—like the day I'd just had enough and swore in front of Grace AND our babysitter, and Grace felt the need to chime in and repeat what I'd said. Yikes! Fortunately, she hasn't used that word since; but she is much more likely to continuously repeat the things that she hears frequently. She is forever singing "Jesus Loves Me" (which we sing each night before bed), telling her brother, "Oh Buddy, you are just too cute", and of course, asking if I know how much she loves me. J Those, thankfully, are the kinds of things that she hears over and over. They get etched into her brain, and they get processed and repeated.
The same is true of us, isn't it? When I spend my time watching too much "CSI", I can find myself becoming desensitized to the fallen world around me. Listening to certain radio shows may make me gossipy and consumed with rather unimportant celebrity news—or worse, repeating those words and song lyrics I may not want my children to know.
But when I am listening to my Father, I start to sound and act more like Him. Reading God's Word teaches me more about who He is, and cements things that I already know. Listening to worship music puts His praises on my lips. Praying keeps Him on my heart and mind, so that serving Him becomes more natural in my everyday life. Studying about Him helps me to apply the Bible and my relationship with Christ to my life. And following Christ's example helps in turn to make me a good example to my children—and others around me.
"Be imitators of God…" We cannot imitate that which we do not know. I encourage you—as I encourage myself—to spend our time listening to the Father, so that we will make Him smile when we repeat after Him.