Be An Imitator

Be an Imitator
Wisdom Hunter 10/20/2016

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV)
I remember the first time I traveled to Asia and took time to explore one of the many outdoor street markets. Stretching for miles and miles on end, these markets claimed to sell all of the top brands in fashion and accessories at a fraction of the cost. However, upon closer inspection one could quickly tell these were cheap imitations, made to look authentic but lacking all of the traits that made the products worthy of a high sticker price, such as quality of materials or assembly.
When we hear the word “imitation,” we assume it to be of lesser quality than the real thing. While this may be true of knockoff handbags or designer jeans, it isn’t the case with Christian discipleship. Jesus invites you to be an imitator, but never a cheap imitation!
In the Bible, the word “imitator” can also mean “follower,” and to be a follower of Jesus is to faithfully respond to the most basic and foundational call of God upon your life. Scripture reminds us over and over that to be a disciple of Jesus is to be restored into His very likeness. As Paul says, we are “being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16), and by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, this restoration is never a superficial resemblance, but a complete renovation of heart, mind, and body.
When I read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, I’m struck by the confidence he has in his own life of discipleship that he can encourage someone else to follow his example, and in so doing they will learn what it means to imitate Christ. While this may seem bold on the one hand, on the other, it teaches us a profound lesson about the nature of discipleship: many times we need the wisdom and example of other mature Christians who can teach us how to faithfully imitate Christ.
If you want to be a genuine imitator of Christ and never settle for a cheap imitation, don’t shy away from the gifts God has given to conform you more and more into His likeness. The example of other faithful men and women in your life is one of the greatest gifts God has given to encourage you as a disciple. When we as Christians can humble ourselves and learn from one another, we learn what it means to be true imitators of Christ!