“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:9)”
Imitation is natural. A matter of fact we are born copy-cats. From language to social behavior, we learn and develop by imitating the world around us. Therefore, like it or not, we are all role models in one form or another. Unfortunately, not everyone takes this role seriously. However, in a day when celebrities readily proclaim “I am not a role model,” we as Christians should proudly rise to fill that void. I’m not saying we need to raise someone else’s children or be responsible for another’s outcome in life; what I’m saying is that we need to live a life worth modeling and encourage others to follow suit.
Paul repeatedly encourages his readers to follow his example. We see that here in his letter to the Philippian church (vs 4:9, 16); again, in his letter to the Corinthians (1st Corinthians 11:1); and in his letter to the Thessalonians (2nd Thessalonians 3:7-9). Likewise, the author of Hebrews encourages his readers to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12)” The Apostle John asks his readers to follow the example of Christ (1st John 1:7), something that Christ himself directed us to do (John 13:16-17). Christ even told us to let our light shine before others “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16).” Declare all you want “I am not a role model,” the world is watching and imitating what you do. Your friends, you children and family, your neighbors, and even strangers see what we do and at times follow suit.
We should all follow the example of Christ, of Paul, of John and all the other great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) and offer our life as an example for others to follow – we should all live our lives in such a way that those who imitate us would experience the peace of God in all they do.
Your daily prayer:
Today, father, let my light shine in such a way that others who see it might come to imitate the life I live, and as a result glorify your name. Help me to offer my life as an example for others to follow. Not because I’m perfect, but because the one I imitate is.