Have you ever watched siblings imitate each other? Undoubtedly, the sibling being imitated will either love it and start a game of follow the leader, or he will become upset and hear “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” from his mom when he tattles on his brother or sister. Often children imitate their sibling just to annoy them. Sometimes though, it is out of genuine love and awe of their big brother or sister. Children will also imitate the things their parents say and do, sometimes to the embarrassment of the parents!
In Ephesians 5:1-2 Paul tells us to, “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.” Like a child imitating his earthly father, we are to imitate our Heavenly Father, not just sometimes, but in everything we do. When it comes to loving others, we are to love them the same way that Jesus loves us. He left us an incredible example to follow; He loved us so much that He was willing to suffer a horrible death, sacrificing Himself so that we can have eternal life. Wow!
Do you know that people are watching us? It’s true; people are watching our lives to see how we respond to chronic illness and every other hardship in our lives. Can we honestly say to others like Paul did in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ,”? Think about your life over the last week. Would you want people to imitate the things you said and did?
This is a huge challenge for anyone, let alone those of us who suffer from chronic illness. Some days the last thing we want to do is put in the extra effort to show others that we love them and care about them. However, if you keep your eyes focused on Christ and seek to love others something special will happen – you will begin to forget about your own pain and suffering. If you imitate God and truly love others, you will be able to shout from the rooftops…"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ!"
“Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control.” –Philippians 3:17-21, NLT
© March 5, 2013