I once heard a story about twin sons of a drunken bum. One became a highly successful businessman, an elder in the church, admired by all who knew him. The other son couldn’t keep a job, had been arrested several times, and lived with the homeless on the dark side of town.
A reporter asked each son the same question: “What led you to become the person you are now?”
Both sons had the same answer: “With an example like my father, what else could you expect?”
My dad acted the same around the house as he did when he was around people at church. What he preached from the pulpit was what he practiced at home. A dad sometimes wants his children to do as he says, not as he does. But in his case, the two were the same.
Even so, he never pushed me to follow in his footsteps. “Please don’t copy my weaknesses,” he said, “but copy that which is good.” He wanted more of God for me than what he had, but for that, I would have to acquire his passion for pleasing the Lord and helping people. Would I do that?
Just as the successful twin son didn’t have to copy his father, I didn’t have to take Dad’s advice. I had a choice. Which way would I go? What would I become?
If we have a father, we have an example to either embrace or shun. If we’re smart, we’ll use both the good and bad of what we see on Earth to help us recognize the value of loving God and helping people. In doing that, we’re walking a path to become more and more like our heavenly Father.
Beloved, we may be God’s children, but we don’t yet know what we will become. But the more of him we see, the more we’ll want to be like him, for we shall see how great he really is. — 1 John 3:2