Imitation has been described as the sincerest form of flattery. Actors and stand up comedians make their living by imitating others. Some impersonate the living, while others specialize in bringing to life memorable figures of the past. Rich Little, known as the “man of a thousand voices” is at 82 years of age still performing a stage show in which he impersonates Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, as well as former late night talk icon Johnny Carson. It is clear that an audience for imitators still exists, as evidenced by the thousands of Elvis impersonators, and of course, those who impersonate President Donald Trump.
We all have been imitators at some point in life. We learned to talk and walk as children by listening to and observing others, and then doing what they did. We succeed in business by learning from those who have mastered the skills which ensure success. As Christians, we emulate those who display godly character and live by the Word. Imitation is a part of our every day lives.
WALK IN LOVE
here is One we should strive to imitate more than any other in our lives. Paul encourages us “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1) While there may be many people we consider worthy of imitation, there is certainly none higher than God. If we are to imitate Him, then how should we do it? Paul provides the answer in verse two of the same chapter “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us….”
As true imitators of God, we must walk in love: not the human, touchy-feely Iove worshipped in pop culture, but the compassionate, caring, and above all committed love of God. Jesus was motivated by love. He was born of the love of God for humanity. He lived a life of love and service to those around Him. In the ultimate act of love, He sacrificed His life in order to pay the price for our sins. Jesus knows what it means to love.
DOING WHAT GOD DOES
Loving others often requires sacrifice on our part. There are times when we are hurt and rejected by others when all we do is love them. Jesus certainly experienced this while He was here on the earth. Isaiah prophesied of Him “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief..” (Isaiah 53:3) He was not deterred by the actions of men from completing his assignment to demonstrate the love of God to the world. He never gave up, and never stopped walking in love. Love never quits and never fails!
When people treat us wrongly and hurt us, it is easy to become sidetracked and fall out of the love walk. Since our faith works by love, we must avoid this at all costs. When those around us reject, despise, and disrespect us, we must be ready to respond in love. Let’s be imitators of God and do what He does. He keeps loving and encouraging us to succeed even when we do not always do what He wants. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.(1 John 4:7) An interesting and very challenging statement. Think about it!