In my life I have been blessed to do a number of things in the entertainment industry. Since I was a young child I’ve known the feeling of standing before a crowd, its both scary and exhilarating at the same time
It all started in second grade. I was that kid who sang just a little bit louder than all the other kids. Fortunately for me, I could hold a tune and I went on to be the token child singer for lots of weddings and funerals.
This led to my interest in the theater. In the 7th grade I got the lead part in our universities production of the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” where I played Amahl. My school celebrated by bussing all the students to the auditorium for a special showing and I’ll never forget the thrill of seeing all my friends in the front row.
Eventually I started a Christian children’s theater and directed kid’s productions for a number of years. In my own life I have never seen a ministry as powerful or effective as the ministry of imitation.
In Christian theater, the kids were allowed to act out their faith in front of large crowds using biblical characters. I could write a book (and may do that one day) about the testimony that was witnessed both on-stage and off.
The Apostle Paul knew well the power of imitation. He knew that, if we were to imitate Christ, we would be copying the perfect example of humanity. Of course, the imitation Paul spoke of was not to be one of fantasy but of reality, taking on the person of Christ with a Christlike heart and a desire to follow in the footsteps of the very Son of God.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1 he urged his readers to, “Be imitators of me, as I am in Christ.” Here he is urging the people of Corinth and the surrounding area to follow his lead as one who looks to Christ for their wisdom and direction.
Similarly in Ephesians 5:1 he gives a message saying, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” As children we look to our parents as examples and, with that, we try to imitate their actions. Depending on the quality of the example, this can be a good thing or a bad thing.
Paul asks us to imitate God because His example is always the best example. In Him we see the compassion, mercy, love and grace we should learn to reproduce throughout our journey in this life and in Christ, His only Son, we see the kind of person that we are all called to be.
The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:6, “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” In our lives, God wishes for our every action to emulate His Son, He looks to us to walk our walk as He did with the same passion, the same effort, the same determination and even the same sacrifice if necessary. He came to earth to serve as that perfect example we should make every effort to duplicate.
Of course, because of sin, we will never rise to the example of Christ, but that does not diminish God’s calling on our lives to be imitators of Him. Every step we take and every move we make should be done as Christ would have done, thinking of others before ourselves, striving to make right those things that have gone wrong. 1 Peter 2:21 reminds us of this calling saying, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.”
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). So, be imitators of Christ. Show love as he did, give mercy as He gave, imitate Him in compassion and copy Him in service. If we could all live our lives as imitators, our world would be a much, much better place. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the example of Your Son. Help us to walk our journeys in life as imitators of when He walked among us. Lead us to new opportunities to be Christ in the world and forgive us for those times we fallen short. Amen.