Be Imitators of God
Paul opens up the fifth chapter of the book of Ephesians by saying, “Therefore be imitators of God, as dearly beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
What does it mean to be an imitator? Here is the dictionary definition of an imitator - to mimic; impersonate; to make a copy of; to have or assume the appearance of or to resemble.
Do you remember the first time you realized that your kids mimic you as their parents? My kids are like little monkeys. They mimic what I do. They want to wear my big person shoes. They want to wear my baseball hat. They want to put on shaving cream and pretend, mimic or imitate my actions. Do you realize that you look so much larger to kids then you see your very own self? Whether you believe it or not, you have a larger-than-life “super adult” status in the lives of your kids.
What you say is taken very seriously by our kids. Take big reflection on this. This is a big deal.
I remember when I was a high school chemistry teacher years ago. I asked a group of students what I thought was a profound question. I said, “If you woke up tomorrow and realized that the whole world was following you, where would you be taking them?” A young girl in the back of the room said under her breath, “To the mall.” We all got quite a laugh out of that.
The whole world may not be following you, but I can categorically say that a household of kids certainly is following you. Are you walking in a manner worthy of the Lord? Are you walking in a manner worthy of being imitated? When our kids say, “Dad, I want to be just like you,” it feels so good. I just want to live in a way that is worthy of imitation.
As I think about the attributes that I believe God wants me to imitate, mimic, impersonate or become a copy of, I think of The Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Hebrews opens with these words, “Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.”
Jesus was meek. Jesus was loving. Jesus prayed. Jesus wept. Jesus befriended the lowly. And the list goes on.
If I were to take a snapshot of my life, would I want my own children imitate me? Yikes. This sobering thought, literally, can shut me down for how inadequate I truly am. I will fail.
However, God has given me his spirit to empower me to somehow successfully imitate who he is to a watching world. Take thought of whether you would want to be imitated, because, the fact is, you already are.
- Recall: Who is mimicking you?
- Reflect: Are you walking in the Lord, in a way that is worthy of your children imitating? Would you want your children to imitate you?
- Respond: Do you need to change the things that you say or do, so you live a life worthy of imitation?
- Rethink: What are you doing right now to imitate the Lord?