Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly beloved children. Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us. Ephesians 5:1-2
I read this verse this week and I had to wonder something: If My Heavenly Father listed all my activities for the week...how many of them would stack up on the side of "imitating Him," and how many would fall on the side of "imitating someone else"?
Holly and I have raised 5 kids! Though most of them are grown, there was a time when they wanted to be with us. (I know, eventually they get cooler friends, or spouses!).
I remember a time when my youngest Dawson was 5, and he caught me by surprise as I found him "imitating" me. I was in my office getting things done, multitasking, calling people, listening to worship and tapping my foot and I'd look over and notice he has been mirroring me the whole time.
He had his foot tapping, singing a little song, talking on a dead cell phone, and smiling the whole time! And when he noticed that I was finally "catching on," he just giggled and gave me that "I'm awesome" smile! (He is).
But there were times that he doesn't imitate me...he's 14 now and he's "finding himself." (Insert sad face). BUT, there are times I surely do not imitate my Heavenly Daddy either, though I'm ___ years old!
The word "imitate" in the Greek comes from mimetes, from which we get our word mimic. I like that word, mimic, because for me it really spells out what I am to do. To mimic someone or something really requires careful observation. You can not mimic without watching someone carefully, getting all the movements and details down. If you do not, you'll merely portray a sample, or a likeness...but you won't have that person's exact movements down. You won't be an exact representation.
Dawson had my movements down...from the toe tapping, the phone in hand, and even had the correct hand reaching back to scratch his neck, just like mine. He was good at mimicking me! You could say he was my exact representation.
Of course, this brings us to Jesus, who in Hebrews 1:3 is said to be the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being." He told His disciples that He and the Father were One, and He only did "what he sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does." (John 5:19)
It's as if Jesus was being like Dawson, watching carefully what His Daddy does, and then mimics it perfectly! What a picture!
So how do we start "mimicking" Jesus?
Well, since we are fasting as a church, and carving out more time to read the Bible, start by reading the Gospel of John.
Remember, the first task of mimicking is to observe carefully. So as you read about Jesus, jot down every time He loved people in the hardest of situations, when people seem to be the most aggressive against Him. Note the life of love he led, and start to apply those circumstances to times in your day or week where you could respond as an exact representation of Jesus.
But Paul tells us in Eph. 5:2: "live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Or, "Mimic Jesus!"
Watch how your response of love turns a bad argument into a soft discussion. Observe how an act of kindness changes a workmate who ignored you out of envy into a new friend. Better yet, rejoice when your "deeds" bring hurting people around you to a knowledge of the Loving Savior! Now you're "representing"!
Observe and Mimic! Watch and Imitate. Change situations and people with the love of Christ.
And when it happens (and it will), smile and giggle like a 5 year old.
Because mimicking Jesus should be fun!