Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:1
Liza bounced down the front stairs and plopped up on the couch next to her dad. He dropped one side of the newspaper and winked at her. A grin spread across her lips, and she winked back. She grabbed a section of the paper and flipped it open.
As he turned the page, he shook the paper to straighten the wrinkles. Liza giggled and did exactly as her father. He crossed his legs at the knees, followed by Lisa doing the same. Letting one side of paper drop, her dad slid his hand to his ankle and scratched his foot. Being the copycat she was, Liza tittered and did the same.
Moments into the copying act, her dad tossed the paper across the living room and yanked Liza to the floor, tickling her and calling her a copycat. After a few minutes of play, he pulled her to her feet and brushed the hair away from her eyes. “I love you Copycat Liza.”
“I love you, too, daddy.”
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and what child hasn’t pulled the copycat trick? Even adults mimic people they admire. This is how we learn. Our toddler children learn fine motor skills and language by watching us. If the values of their home life are strong and steady this is what they imitate. If values are careless and weak, then children learn likewise.
If we learn by imitation, then why are more of us not imitating Christ? The example He left us to follow was very controlled and precise. Jesus always chose His words carefully, and though He, like any human, had moments when anger erupted, He still thought through His actions. Even to His death on the cross, Jesus in all His brokenness and agony, still set the example of perfect forgiveness when He uttered, “Father, forgive them.”
Who do you imitate? Better yet, who imitates you? Are you sending out an example that makes others long to have the joy you have? Be an imitator of Christ and teach the world of His goodness.
Prayer: Father, help us to be the examples You want us to be. Make us good imitators of You.