The other day, I was listening to a podcast of a local pastor and heard an amazing statement. He said that we are born looking like our parents, but we die “looking like” what we worship.
He was asserting the power of influence. We become like those around us. We shape our lives based on the influence of those we live with, work with or hang out with. We become like those things that we value most. If we value them highly enough, those objects of worship significantly shape our lives.
Speaking of looking like someone else, I recently read several articles that assert the scientific proof that owners often look like their pets, particularly dogs. The phenomenon is well documented. What’s not so clear is why it is true.
The prevailing opinion is that we unconsciously seek out a preference for the familiar. We know the shape, color and distinctions of our own eyes and we unknowingly find a dog that has similar eyes. Scientists call this the “mere exposure effect” or it might commonly be referred to as the allure of the familiar.
We become what we are most familiar with. If we hang around cussing, snorting sports addicts, it’s no surprise that we will soon sound just like them. If we hoard our resources, meagerly share and rarely give to others, we will end up “looking” just like Scrooge. If we overly value our bodies, we will soon ignore other values in pursuit of the perfect set of abs.
We often quote I Cor. 15:33 to our teenagers. It says, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” Bad company does affect our kids, but it also affects us. And our “company” might be in the form of our TV set, or our phone or our lap top. We might be spending too much time and lavishing too much attention on activities like sports or working out. Any number of things may have caught our attention.
We might be “worshipping” money or our kids or entertainment or, or, or…….
The bottom line this week is my agreement with that pastor. I do think we are born looking like our parents and we will most likely die “looking like” what we worshipped, what we thought the most about, what we valued the most. So……..
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Master.” (Ps. 95:6)