Links Daily Devotional

Imitation Is Real

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV)

A picture sits on top of a bookshelf in our home office, and in it are three men who bear a resemblance to one another. Although they played a fair amount of golf together, in this picture they are standing in front of a church and wearing sports coats and ties and smiles.

Do the people around you see Jesus in you?The oldest man in the picture, my father, would only live about another year, finally succumbing to Parkinson’s Disease. The next older man, my brother, lived fifteen more years until he lost his battle with cancer. In the physical sense, of the men in the picture I alone am left.

In the spiritual sense, however, and even in the golf sense, both my father and my brother live on through their influence on me. From the time I was very young, I was a natural imitator of the two of them. Sometimes, I now know, I was imitating my brother imitating our father, so I got a double dose of dad. Fortunately they were both worthy of imitation.

Dad was a solid golfer and he was my primary teacher. He didn’t give me formal lessons, I just watched him play and then I practiced. He loved that I took what he showed me and improved to the point that I could outscore him. So did I.

Wise parents understand that their kids don’t just look like them, they look to them. They pass along more than DNA, they also pass along quirks and sayings and opinions and attitudes and habits. Like using an 8-iron to chip with, or being willing to needle your playing partner a little and then smile when you get needled back.

When you examine your own life, are you glad to know your children, whether physical or spiritual, imitate you? It was bold of Paul to tell the Christians at Corinth to imitate him. Of course, he qualified his statement by saying they should imitate him as he imitated Christ.

Do the people around you see Jesus in you? If you are an imitator of Christ, the answer is yes.

Whether you appreciate it fully at this point or not, you may be the single most influential person in someone’s life, and most of that influence will come not through what you say to them but through how you live your life. It will come through imitation. So do it right—imitate Christ in your own life. The impact of that can last for generations.

Lewis Greer
November 16, 2016
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