Being CHRISTIANS in large type

Chuck Tabor - Contributing columnist

Greg (not his real name) was a seminary classmate of mine many years ago. He was a jovial fellow who wore large horn-rimmed glasses and had very curly hair which set him apart from most of the rest of us. I’ll never forget the first time I met his wife, Theresa (not her real name, either).

She looked just like a shorter version of her husband. She wore large horn-rimmed glasses, similarly shaped, and her hair was done in a very tight and curly permanent. I was amazed at just how much they looked alike!

Now Greg and Theresa, when I met them, had not been married all that long — a few years at the most! But a couple of weeks ago, as my bride and I were celebrating the 48th anniversary of our wedding, I recalled that encounter with them. And I remembered just how amazed I was at how much they looked like each other.

Have you ever noticed how people who have been married for a long time get so they look alike? I was reading a study this week about people who have been married for 10 years or longer. It is truly amazing how these couples start having the same kinds of expressions on their faces. They start actually having the same kinds of physical characteristics.

If I had not seen it with my own eyes, in the form of Greg and Theresa, I would never have thought that was true.

Have you ever considered why that happens? Why do couples start to look like each other when they have been married for almost any length of time? Aside from the fact that married couples often go to the same places for their basic needs, and they do similar things in their lives, there are reasons for this to happen.

For one thing, the longer you are with someone, the more you become like that individual. In my encounters with couples who are either getting married or are having troubles in their marriages, I see individuals who are attracted to each other because of their differences, but for most of their married life, they will attempt to change that other person to be exactly like themselves.

If forced, this is not good. But if allowed to occur naturally, there is nothing more beautiful in a relationship. The longer you spend with your mate, the more you are “abiding” with one another, and the more you become like each other — just as a matter of time.

The interesting thing about that is that is exactly what is supposed to happen to people who are Christ-followers in the real world. The more we “abide” with Christ, the more Christlike we will become. That means we will begin to take on the characteristics of Christ as we abide in Him!

That principle is driven home in 2 Corinthians 3:18, where we read, “And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.”

In a nutshell, this verse is simply telling us that as we look into the Mirror of God’s Word (That is the clear meaning of the uses of “mirror” here – Check out verses 12-16!), we will start to become more and more like Christ and reflect His glory more and more. The more we take His Word to heart, the more we apply it to our lives and obey His instructions for living, the more we will be conformed to His image and look just like Him! (See Romans 8:29)

I don’t know if my bride and I look like each other or not. She is very tall and I am short — or is it the other way around? I do know that after 48 years we tend to think a lot alike and sometimes — not always, mind you — I can anticipate what she is thinking and even finish her sentences for her!

In the long run, it is not nearly so important that we look like each other as it is that we both look like Jesus Christ. And of course, as we both progressively look like Jesus Christ — in our actions and in our attitudes as well — we WILL look like each other! But the most important thing about that is that we are both living and walking advertisements for the Lord!

F.B.Meyer, the renowned Bible preacher of over 100 years ago, put it this way: “We ought to be Christians in large type, so that it would not be necessary (for others) to be long in our society or to regard us through spectacles, in order to detect our true discipleship. The message of our lives should resemble the big advertisements which can be read on the street-boardings by all who pass by.”

I have not seen Greg and Theresa for over 40 years, but my guess is that, if they are still together, they are resembling each other even more. And if they are walking with the Lord, they are indeed walking advertisements for Jesus!

What about you? Are you walking with Him? Are you abiding with Christ? If you are you will begin to take on more and more of the characteristics of Christ and become more like Him in everything you do. And you will be a vibrant advertisement for Him.

God bless …

Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at [email protected] .

Chuck Tabor

Contributing columnist