“Here comes little Tessie,” my aunts would often say.

My mom, Teresa, was always called by her nickname, Tessie. And I apparently resembled her a lot even as a child.

The nickname didn’t stick; however, the likeness to my mom was actually one I cherished.

Janet Claire is my full name and I was always called Janet until I met and married my husband, Ken, who then affectionately started calling me Jan, with a slightly longer sounding “a.” My brother picked up on it and also called me Jan except with a short sounding “a.”

The point being, Janet or Jan, I’m simply me with a strong family resemblance to my mom.

It’s funny how other people see it more than I or she ever did. Perhaps it is more in expressions and body language…along with some facial likeness…that triggers that response.

And it got me thinking about how as Christians we should bear a strong family resemblance to Jesus Christ.

Jesus told his disciples in John 14:9 NLT, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” As God the Son, he bore such a distinct likeness to his Father that their hope and faith were secure.

I think when others saw the family resemblance of my mom and me, they referred to more subtle actions and qualities also. Perhaps a certain way we laughed or carried ourselves. Even the Mother’s Day that we wore twin dresses didn’t make us anymore look-alikes than what people already saw in us.

Jesus kept bringing home to his disciples that he was in the Father and the Father was in him. Every action, thought, word spoken was because the Father living in him worked through him. And he then worked where his father was already working.

And that is what Jesus wants of us.

Be sensitive to when the Holy Spirit is nudging another person to ask spiritual questions. Lend a helping hand when the opportunity presents itself. Listen to his voice as he stirs your heart toward another person or ministry.

And allow the Holy Spirit to produce his fruit in you…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Now, when I look at myself in the mirror, I see my Mom. Perhaps that can be a reminder that as we age, we should display a more mature likeness to the Lord.

Resemble him. Selah

Jan Merop, a columnist with the Highlands News-Sun for 31 years, resided in Sebring for 28 years; now living in North Carolina. Visit her blog Journeying with Jan @ pauseandconsider.net.