“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” ~ Ephesians 5:1-2
Now that my son is nearly four, he has gotten to be remarkably verbal. Being around me all the time, he’s learned to talk…a lot (apparently I was quite the chatterbox as a child, according to my parents). But what’s really been interesting to hear as he grows is how much he sounds exactly like me. Tone, inflection, speech patterns, the works, sometimes when he talks to me it’s like hearing myself talk. The other day, he asked me to come help him with his Legos. When I asked why, he turned to me, and very patiently and deliberately said, “Because I asked you to.”
It was like hearing a recording of myself.
When he spills something, I often don’t even have to respond. He cheerfully says, “That’s okay!” and goes about cleaning it up. Since he spends all his time with me, his only parent, he says what I would say in whatever situation he’s facing.
He imitates the person he is closest to, and boy, does it ever show.
As believers we are called to be imitators of God. We are His children, and our lives should show the love the Christ demonstrates towards us. In I Corinthians, Paul instructs the church to “You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (I Cor. 11:1). We are to look to Christ and His followers to know how to live.
In order to do this, however, we must be spending time with Him. So much time that His responses become our responses. Sometimes this is easy – we have time to think about what we want to say. Other times, in stressful situations, it’s much harder; our knee-jerk responses might not be quite as…Christ-like.
As you go about your day, can people tell whom you are imitating? Does it show? Who is it that your life represents?