Progressive Insurance’s Dr. Rick ad campaign humorously points out the ways people imitate the behavior of their parents, even in ways in which they aren’t aware. From the failure to silence your phone in public to a couch so filled with pillows that there’s nowhere to sit down, the tag line for the campaign is, “Progressive can’t save you from becoming your parents, but we can save you money.” It’s a humorous look at a deeper reality–we learn by observation, even when we don’t know we’re learning.
As Paul opens Ephesians 5, he calls us to be aware of what we’re learning and the one from whom we are learning, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Paul wrote in Ephesians 4 of the way the Gentiles walked. Here, he turns his attention to the way children of God walk–by imitating the God we worship. It’s a principle we see all over the Bible–where we are looking determines the direction we are going. If we’re watching what God is doing, we’ll become like Him. We’ll learn to walk in love as we see how Christ loved us and sacrificed on our behalf. We’ll walk in purity, holiness, and wisdom, being filled with the Spirit to address one another with praise and thanksgiving. So today, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Let’s behold our God until there’s no doubt whose children we are.