Our verse for today comes from Ephesians 5:1, ” Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. “
The Bible has several things to say about imitating. We are familiar with Paul’s bold instructions to the Corinthians to imitate him. Twice he urged them to do as he does, as he strove to be all things to all people that many might be saved, and as he described himself as their spiritual father, teaching the ways of Christ. Paul commended the Thessalonians for being imitators of the churches in Judea, receiving God’s Word as truth, eventually leading to their suffering and persecution. John taught us to imitate what is good, rather than what is evil, giving evidence that we are of God. And in Hebrews we learn to imitate those who inherit God’s promises through faith and patience. Having something to model ourselves after is helpful and effective. How many of us have listened to instructions that haven’t exactly clicked, but then we hear those familiar words, ” For example, ” and the point that was being made becomes clear and obvious to us? We benefit from having something to follow, something concrete to pattern ourselves after. And the world offers no shortage of examples, models, and types for us to strive to emulate. So many of the ads that we absorb without notice are selling more of an image and lifestyle than they are the product being promoted.
But the scriptures do well to call us to imitate God as dear children. The image of a child following around in his dad’s footsteps, acting and talking and dressing like him is a powerful one. They can even be seen copying some of the bad habits we might have, unaware that not everything dad says and does needs to be replicated. That’s why we are reminded to imitate the good rather than the evil, for our nature is to copy what we are exposed to. We are not great at discriminating between what we should and shouldn’t emulate, and we can be even less aware as to what we are becoming. So put yourself in the footsteps of God, imitating Him as a child does his parent. Become the good that comes from Him who sets the perfect example.
As we seek Him today, look to God for how to act and react. Imitate Him, whether in patience, faithfulness, grace, or any other good thing. Let Him set the standard for you today.