Posted by: mikenicholsblog | August 18, 2010

copy cat

“Oh, If I could just_______________?”  What skill do you see in others that you would love to possess? It may be to sing with perfect pitch, speak with great eloquence, hit a golf ball perfectly straight, or with a slight draw, fly an airplane, play the piano … the list is endless. Everyone admires, and would love to imitate some skill outside of their natural talents. It’s just human nature.

To be honest, from our earliest memories, thoughts flow of how we would imitate our parents. Can you remember following dad around the garage or making cookies with mom in the kitchen? We all started young with a desire to be like someone. In all areas of life, whether it is talents, skills, or even character qualities, others have attributes that we want to possess.

What about you? What are the special qualities in your life worthy of imitation? You may feel that there is nothing special about you, so why would anyone care to mimic you. But without question, the quality of your life can be worthy of imitation, especially the spiritual attributes. Just think about the opportunity for others to see life working for you, even in midst of complete chaos. It’s no doubt they would want to imitate the great patience, or humility, or steadfastness that you showed.

But who in the world would ever willingly volunteer the words, “Imitate my life.” We are all too afraid of failing, or hindering someone. And even before that, how profoundly arrogant does that sound?! But there was a prominent man in ancient times that made a couple of “imitate me” kind of statements. Was he arrogant, or just confident enough in his relationship with Christ to speak his true feelings? Listen to the words of the apostle Paul.

I Corinthians 4:15-16
Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

I Corinthians 10:32-11:1
Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God–even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I have followed the example of Christ.

What courage! What confidence! But let’s also be quick to clarify. What Paul wanted was for others to imitate him as he followed the example of Christ, and in his role as a spiritual father. We may never say those words, but our hearts should beat so strong for Christ that our lives are worthy of imitation. Could others say that your love for Christ makes them want to mimic that love? I may be preaching now, but our kids (even adult children), friends, and work associates need to see a life worthy of imitation. Paul may have had the courage to speak strong words, but let us join him also in the courage to live strong lives. The results will matter eternally.

When all is said and done, could it be said of you and me, “That was a life worth imitating”?

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