Spiritual Practice

Love Changes Us

Gerrit Scott Dawson

Have you noticed how people who fall in love start to look and act alike? They walk in step; they use the same phrases. They show up at parties in color-coordinated outfits. Suddenly, the guy who never liked vegetables orders salads just as she does. Suddenly, the girl who never liked sports can tell you the scores. We become like those we love.

That’s the good news at Christmas. We become like those we love. God became a human being in Jesus Christ, Mary’s baby boy. Because of love, God became like us.

devozine Teen Discussion TS 200274216-001God must be completely in love with us. It’s one thing to wear the same shirt your beloved wears; but to live in another’s skin, not only once upon a time but always — that’s true love.

In Jesus, God came looking for us. Christ entered the world to gather us in his arms, to call us by name, and to assure us that we are God’s beloved. He came to us in a way that we could understand, to tell us in words we could hear that God loves us.

I believe that Jesus wants us to love him in return so that we will become like him. The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus “will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21b, NIV). In heaven, we will receive glorious resurrection bodies just like Jesus has. Our humanity will become like his — free from death, sin, and sorrow. We will be outfitted for life in the loving, energizing joy of heaven.

He became what we are. We will become what he is. That’s the way love works. We become like those we love.

Bethlehem stable Ftr TSP 186041990At Christmas, we celebrate a love that began in eternity past but was made known when Mary gave birth to a tiny baby, the Son of God, who came to love us and to be one of us. Trusting God’s love changes us. Realizing that Jesus gives us all he has transforms us. Jesus joins us to himself. He makes us beloved children of God; and he promises that there is much, much more love and life to come.

Read 1 John 3:1–2. We don’t know exactly what life in heaven will be like, but we do know that “we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” Love becomes like the beloved. God became a human being. We become more like Jesus.



Think about someone you love. Write a list of the ways you have become like the one you love. Then make a list of what you know about Jesus — his love, his way with people, his commands. Spend some time in prayer, loving Jesus who loved you enough to enter the world as a baby at Christmas. Pray that you may become more and more like the Lord you love.

—from devozine (November/December 2005). Copyright © 2005 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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