I love little children! There’s just something so fun and special about watching their minds work, hearing them try big words, and seeing them discover so many new things. For a little child, every day holds adventure, as they have so many firsts to experience and lessons to learn.
Recently, I have spent quite a bit of time with my two-year-old niece. She is a very bright little girl, and she catches on to everything so fast! We have to be careful what we say and do when we are around her, because she understands so much more than we realize. One thing I have noticed is how easily she imitates us. There have been so many times that I heard her say something and realized, “She got that from me! I say that all the time!” It’s not just words, either. I still remember walking into the room and seeing her standing there with her little arms crossed in a stance. Glancing around, I noticed that my older brother was standing just the same way — she had copied him completely without him even noticing!
As we get older, we forget how prone we are to emulate. We all want to believe that we are completely authentic, entirely unique, and fully unprecedented. The reality is, we pick up so many things from the people around us and what we put into our minds. Everything that we see, hear, and experience shapes the person that we are. This is why we have to be so careful in the things we choose to open our minds to. Whether we like it or not, these choices are molding our characters.
Everything that we see, hear, and experience shapes the person that we are.
This is not all bad. In 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us that, as we contemplate Christ’s character, we are transformed into that same image — we become like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). It’s the old principle, “by beholding, we become changed.” Often when we hear this, we think of how we should avoid watching inappropriate things on our screens or be careful not to spend too much time with people who we don’t want to become like.
While these decisions are certainly critical to the development of our characters, I’d like to take a moment and think a little differently. Instead of focusing on what we shouldn’t be putting in our minds, what if we gave our attention to what we should be idealizing. As Christians, the number one goal for each of us should be to reflect Christ, to be like Him. According to what we just read, the best way to become like Jesus is to behold His character, to behold Him!
Instead of focusing on what we shouldn’t be putting in our minds, what if we put our attention on what we should be idealizing.
There are so many ways that we can behold Christ. Through the Bible, we see the way that He lived His life on earth and read what He said of Himself. Through nature, we can understand the principles that He works upon and catch a glimpse of His matchless love. And through the people around us, we can visualize, although imperfectly, His character. After all, we were created in His image.
As simple as it may sound, beholding Christ in order to become like Him is not always easy. From the time we get up in the morning till the time we fall asleep, we are continually bombarded with messages. Whether it be advertisements, conversations, videos, books, posts or podcasts, we have so much information entering our minds all the time. Unfortunately, much of this material does nothing for us in our journey to become like Christ. Therefore, it is imperative that we make choices to fill our minds with as much good as we can possibly find. As reflect on visions of Jesus and His goodness and love, we will flood out the impure. In this way, we can become more like Him every day.
My prayer is that each one of us will choose to behold Him, today!