What Babies, A Girl Not Named Clarissa, and Psychologists Can Teach Us About Being Godly
Do you want to be more godly?
Have you tried? What exactly did you do or not do? In other words, how did you approach being more godly?
In the realm of Christian aspirations, being godly, or more like God, has to be near the top of the list.
You’d think we might have a plan for something so important to us and to God.
I have to say my approach has been haphazard at best.
Well, God does have a plan.
I’ve known it in theory, but in just 3 days time I saw how it works in real life and then read a magazine article that explained why.
Let’s begin with a picture of my beautiful granddaughter Kate and her young son Isaiah.
Like all babies, Isaiah loves to stare at his Mom.
This past week he’s begun to communicate. We talk to him and you can see his mouth open in imitation. A few small gurgles escape, but it won’t be long until he’ll figure out how to make sounds in response to our ‘baby talk‘.
About now you’re wondering WHAT does this have to do with learning to be godly.
This is where 3 sentences from an article in FASTCOMPANY take center stage.
The article is about talent and the age old debate of nature/nurture.
Is talent genetic or learned?
The article suggested an experiment consisting of the following 3 steps:
- Pick a skill you have always wanted to possess.
Seek out someone who’s really good at that particular skill, and study them.
Practice that skill intensely for 15 minutes, twice a say, for one month.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)
God designed that babies learn by watching their parents and family. He hardwired them that way. They watch us closely and take it all in. That’s exactly what we ought to do if we want to be godly. Watch God closely, take it all in, and then imitate what God does.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:13 (KJV)
Jesus kind of rubs off on us when we spend time with Him. The Holy Spirit does the work of transformation, of sanctification, but—–you and I have to make the effort to have the FaceTime with God.
How does the study involving the girl not really named Clarissa come into this?
Through Clarissa the psychologists witnessed the powerful influence example can have on learning. She plays the clarinet and had seen her own instructor play a piece of music just days before. Her own practice of that piece showed dramatic improvement in very little time. This hadn’t happened with her other pieces.
Reading about God is like seeing your teacher perform the piece you are trying to master yourself.
His patience with rebellious Israel instructs us as parents. His kindness extended even to the wicked and scornful teaches us how to live among others in this world. His goodness and generosity model the virtues that should characterize our lives.
The more we behold His face, the quicker we’ll learn to be like Him.
Fix Him in your sight line and with ‘intensity and purpose’ pay attention to what you are seeing.
In the article from FASTCOMPANY you’ll read about REPS.
Where do you most lack godliness?
Use REPS to help yourself become more godly in that area.
Babies don’t start talking in full sentences in a week, but they make constant progress because they study us closely. Be patient with yourself. Instead of giving up in discouragement, zero in on just one thing and you’ll see God teaching you how to be more godly in that area.