Thursday, August 18, 2016

Worthy of Imitation

by Danetta Kellar

Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

I encourage you, then, be imitators of me. I Corinthians 4:16

The world watched last Friday night as Joseph Schooling beat his role model Michael Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly. For the first time in his olympic career, Phelps could not catch up. Schooling clocked 50.39, faster than his muse had swam in any of his olympic victories. His victory won his country their first-ever gold medal. 

“He’s the reason I wanted to be a better swimmer,” said Schooling in an interview. 

“What he is able to achieve is up to him. It’s as big as he wants to dream,” said Phelps regarding Schooling. The world record breaker seemed unable to suppress his proud smile.

Together, Phelps and Schooling climbed the podium to receive their medals.

What a picture of discipleship! I thought to myself. 

There is an involuntary discipleship each of us performs. It is the imprint we leave on others through our example.

Phelps did not seek to mentor Schooling. He just focused with all his heart upon his goal, that of being the world’s fastest swimmer. As he worked, disciplined himself, and practiced humility and kindness, others were watching and taking note. Others who would emulate him and set similar goals. Schooling followed his example and in the end exceeded it.

As followers of Jesus, our goal is Christ Himself. 

Our desire is to glorify God in all that we do. As we do this, others are watching. They are taking note. They are adapting their habits, their speech, their lifestyles to emulate the life they see in us through Jesus. Our goal is becoming theirs. 

Is your life worth imitating? Is the goal you pursue with such passion each day inspiring others to know Christ like you do? 

We cannot imitate a God whom we do not watch carefully. We cannot hope to know a God whom we do not study, spend time with, ask questions. We must watch Him, get to know His methods, His heart, through His word, the Bible. 

Will anyone ever say of you, “She’s the reason I wanted to become a better follower of Jesus”?

As we imitate God, we come worthy of imitation.

Whether or not you have sought to lead, you are leading. Make sure your goal is worthy of imitation. 

Lord, I want to imitate you. Make my life a reflection of Jesus, inspiring others to chase after you with all their hearts. Amen.


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