Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV)
I have never thought of imitation as being a positive word. There are very few people that I thought were worthy of imitation. I certainly have never been worthy of imitation. I wouldn’t even want someone to imitate me. Why is that? I know that I am a flawed individual. I am a sinner. I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed. Examples of my sins are not long ago, from some distant past. I am currently a sinner. Isn’t your attitude and confession of your sins worthy of imitating? You are not trying to hide your sin. You are not falsely claiming that you are not a sinner. You are not proudly pretending to be something you are not. No, I am not doing that. Yes, being willing to admit and confess my sins to you is a worthy example to follow. Yes, it is.
You can probably guess where we are going to go with this conversation. Yes, I think I know where we are headed. Where is that? You are going to point out other behaviors and attitudes within me that are worthy of imitation. Yes, I am. You have turned away from your old life. You are allowing me to use my word to change your heart and transform your mind. You are putting on the new life that I have given you to live. Is this something others can imitate? Yes, it is. Let’s keep going. You have set apart a time and a place to meet with me in my word. You are allowing my word to dwell in you richly. You are meditating on my word day and night. You are hiding my word deeply in your heart and mind and life. Is this something others can imitate? Yes, it is. You are drawing near to me as I draw near to you. You are resisting the devil and he is fleeing from you. You are allowing my Holy Spirit to take my word and use it to fight in you, with you and for you. Are these things that are worthy of imitation? Yes, they are. It is your passionate desire to know me. You want to walk in my ways. You want to go wherever I guide you. You want to do whatever I ask of you. Are these desires worthy of imitation? Yes, they are. You want to become like me. You want to serve like I served. You want to give like I gave. You want to love like I loved. What do you have to say about this goal? It is worthy of imitation. Yes, it is. Finally, the most important thing you want to accomplish with your life is to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Are any life goals worthier of imitation than these? No, there are no life goals worthier of imitation than these. That’s right. Keep on living the life that I have given you to live and you will give others plenty to imitate. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I know that my life, on my own, is not worthy of imitation. Only as I draw near to you and imitate your life can I offer any kind of example that is worthy for others to follow. Use my life, help me to imitate you and be a worthy example others can follow. Amen
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