I was driving north on Interstate 15 in southern California, USA, on my way to a granddaughter’s wedding. I’d left the San Diego airport in a rental car, following the GPS on my phone as I drove. After half an hour, I was directed to take the next off-ramp. As I turned to go under the freeway, I looked to my right at a pedestrian walking across the street. I was startled to see someone who looked just like my husband, who’s been in heaven for six years: the same very distinctive walk, his characteristic slim, fit body type, and the identical beard, mustache, hair colour, and clothing style.
I carried that memory throughout the afternoon, thinking that God had given me a special blessing as I travelled alone to the wedding of my stepson’s youngest daughter who had, after much prayer and waiting on the Lord, found a wonderful Christian man.
It’s a common idea that everyone has a doppelgänger: someone who’s not related to you, who probably isn’t part of your everyday world, but who has features so similar to yours that it’s startling. Since he died, I’ve seen other people who reminded me of my husband, but nothing so close as this one.
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:16,18 NLT)
What if every time someone passed you or me, their first thought was, “That person looks like Jesus”? What if they thought that you or I reflected His image so closely that there was no mistaking the relationship between us and Jesus?
We may have moments, even days, when this could be true. But until we’re in heaven, we’ll never completely be a “doppelgänger” of Jesus. In the meantime, the Bible offers advice.
- We can be like Him by having the mind of Christ. (See Philippians 2:5)
- We can fix our thoughts on whatever is pure, lovely, admirable, noble, true, righteous, excellent, and praiseworthy. (See Philippians 4:8) A few years ago, I created an acronym to help me remember those: PLANTREP — a nonsense word that I can readily call to mind when my thoughts are straying.
- We can ask Jesus for the strength — and sometimes the courage — to develop and display the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (See Galatians 5:22-23)
If we change our thinking, we can change our lives. We can choose to focus on Him instead of on the world and all its problems. It’s not easy, but the results will be incredible. Everyone around us will notice the difference and be drawn to Him. As the old hymn by B. B. McKinney says:
“Then live for Christ both day and night,B.B. McKinney
Be faithful, be brave, and true,
And lead the lost to life and light;
Let others see Jesus in you.”
Pray with me:
Prayer: Lord, help me to change my thinking to be like Yours, to constantly focus on right thoughts, and to develop the fruit of the Spirit so that others will see You in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Sharon Cook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA