More Like Jesus
Tuesday - April 27th
Scripture to Read Today: 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Years ago, I read several articles that said researchers discovered that couples in long-term marriages began to look alike over time. After reading about that research, I thought I started to notice that couples I knew did look similar after decades of marriage. Maybe you reached the same conclusion as you have observed older couples.
One recent article summarized the findings this way: "In 1987, researchers suggested that spouses' faces were not similar at the outset of marriage but became more similar. According to the researchers' hypothesis, couples tend to begin looking alike in the construction of their faces because they typically 'occupy the same environments, engage in the same activities, eat the same food, and mimic each other's emotional expressions.' All of these factors can influence facial features."
Researchers at Stanford University recently reported findings that there is actually no evidence that couples physically looked more alike as time passed. Testing their theory, researchers compiled a database of 517 couples taken within two years of getting married and between 20 and 69 years later.
After compiling the photos, researchers showed volunteers a picture of a target person and six other photos of faces, with one being their spouse. Volunteers were asked to rank the photos by similarity to the target individual. Researchers performed the same experiment using facial recognition software. The study, published in Scientific Reports, "did not find evidence for the convergence in physical appearance hypothesis: Spouses' faces did not become more similar with time."
The recent conclusion that couples do not begin to physically look alike over time comes as a great relief for my wife. Lesli doesn't need her beauty disrupted by any part of my facial features melding in with hers. As a couple, we do see how our facial expressions and visual cues have become similar. Researchers agree that the way couples use their facial expressions may grow more similar over time. Our kids and friends point out those facial cues and expressions they see in both Lesli and me from time to time. That is just 30+ years of being happily married to each other.
When I first read this kind of research, I thought about how we, as the followers of Jesus, will look more and more like Jesus as we walk with Him over the years. The more we get to know Him and see Him as He is revealed in Scripture, the more we take on His character, attitude, heart, and servant-like spirit. The change in us so that we bear the image of Christ happens daily over time.
Paul explained to the believers at Corinth that as we see God's glory revealed in the Bible, we begin to reflect Him in our daily lives. "We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18). The phrase "being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory" could also be translated "changed into His image from stage to stage." It conveys the idea that we incrementally, step by step, become more like Jesus in our thinking, attitude, relationships, values, and behavior. It could even be a day-by-day transformation.
Are you more like Jesus today than you were yesterday because of your walk with Him? Ask God that question. Let Him confirm the areas of growth in your life. Let Him convict you of the areas where your life still does not reflect Jesus to others.
The longer we walk with Jesus, the more we know Him. The more we know Him, the more we become like Him!