With six children and two grandchildren, I know from experience how little people can mimic those around them. They will copy what they see and hear and absorb information, attitudes, atmospheres and the speech of those around them, which can be a good trait or a bad one. Good, if what they are seeing and hearing is beneficial, and not so great if it’s detrimental to their growth and well-being.
The bible has some words of wisdom when it comes to being a mimic. It uses the term imitate, which means to “emulate, copy, to model oneself on, and to follow the example of”.
We’re encouraged to “Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.” (Ephesians 5:1)
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)
Essentially Jesus is asking us to mimic and imitate him. To model our lives on the example and guidelines he set for us. If you want to know what love is and to love others’ well, look at Jesus. If you could benefit from knowing how to relate to others, follow his example. If you’re seeking to become a better leader, take notes from the most outstanding leader of all time. Jesus’ is a high standard, but He promises to both equip and empower us to follow his example and to “shed abroad his love and grace in our hearts”. Through Jesus, we can do all things, because he gives us his strength. (Philippians 4:13)
There are some amazing people throughout history and in the world right now, but the absolute best example I know to imitate is Jesus’. Other people may fail and let us down by their life and behaviour, but when we seek to be more like Jesus and endeavour to copy His example of love, integrity, kindness and compassion, we will not be disappointed? Plus He doesn’t expect us to try and imitate him in our own ability or alone. Just as children copy and are taught by those around them, Jesus also equips, encourages and gives us the ability to imitate Him. He provides us with the capacity and power when we ask Him into our lives. We are transformed to be like Him as we spend time with Him, are filled with the Holy Spirit and encouraged by those who love and know Him too.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Take a moment to examine who you’re imitating? Does your life look anything like Jesus’ example.
Are the people in your world those who build you up and help you be the best person you can be? Are they encouraging you to be kind, compassionate and loving, with a standard worth emulating?
I encourage you to determine to be a person whose life follows the example of Jesus and is also one that others would want to imitate and be influenced by.
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember to look to you for my example in life. Please give me wisdom and strength to also bring out the greatness in others by my example today. In Jesus name Amen.