Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 1, 2017

imitate me

“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, fly an airplane, or play the piano. The list is endless! It is human nature to want to imitate someone who has a skill or attribute you desire.

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 imitate others. In all areas of life, whether it is talents, skills, or even character qualities, others have attributes we want to possess.

What about you? What are the special qualities in your life which are worthy of imitation? You may feel there is nothing special about yourself and reject the notion that anyone would care to mimic you, but without question, the quality of your life can be worthy of imitation … especially the spiritual attributes. When you are growing in your faith and consistently loving others, the distinctiveness of your life is worthy of imitation. You may tend to look solely at your weaknesses, but others also see your patience, care, humility and steadfastness.

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 doesn’t that thinking seem profoundly arrogant?! But there was a prominent man in ancient times that made a couple of “imitate me” type statements. Were the words spoken in arrogance (I think not), or did they source from a strong confidence in his relationship with Christ? Listen to the words of the apostle Paul:

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 4:15-16 (NIV)

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.
I Corinthians 10:32-11:1 (NIV)

What courage! What confidence! But let’s also be quick to clarify. What I believe Paul wanted was for others to imitate him as he followed the example of Christ, and in his role as a spiritual mentor. 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 inspires them 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 in the courage to live strong lives … that reflect the love and life of Jesus. How we live before others matters for eternity.

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

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