Photo: Stephanie Beaty
It's complicated, sometimes. Trying to figure out how to live our lives, how to be a faithful Christian. There are too many options. Should I do this? Or should I do that? Will other people judge me for this? Will anyone appreciate that? In our Bible reading last night, I came across a new way of thinking for me: Live a life worthy of imitation.
In 1 Corinthians 4:16, Paul is urging the Christians in Corinth to follow in his footsteps. To act like him. To copy him.
When I was a kid, I had a really hard time with the copy cats in my life. I really struggled with giving someone grace when they "stole my idea." My mom reminded me that imitation is really just a form of flattery. That person thinks that my idea is so good, they want to claim it for themselves. Granted, it's still hard to watch someone else get credit for your genius, if that's the way things go. But it does help to know that when someone copies you, it's because they appreciate your brilliance.
Not all imitation involves stealing ideas, there's also copying the way someone dresses, acting similarly to the people you spend the most time with, decorating a house the same as another, etc. We all imitate things we see every day. That's why Pinterest is such a popular place. Everyone loves finding ideas and making them their own.
I've come to realize that people imitate those they want to be like. We who are in a leadership role within our church should take a lesson from Paul. We should be an example to those who look up to us. Our lives should reflect the Holy Son of God, so that the people in them can see Him through us. We should strive to be more like Jesus, so that those we influence will also be more like Him. The more Christ-like we are, the better the world will become.
We all have a sphere of influence. Let's saturate that area of our lives with the love of Jesus. We'll all be better people for it.