“Therefore be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us….” – Ephesians 5:1-2a (Holman Christian Standard)
What baseball players did you try to imitate as a kid? Growing up a huge New York Yankee fan, two of my favorite players were Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. Living on a farm in rural South Carolina made it difficult to find enough players for a pickup game, so it was quite normal to find ways to entertain myself. Many an afternoon would find me swinging at imaginary balls from my best Mickey Mantle stance or striking out an imaginary hitter using my best Whitey Ford windup. Little did it matter that I was not a switch hitter like Mantle nor did I throw left-handed like Ford. What was important was that Mantle and Ford were my heroes and I wanted to be just like them. Later I learned that Mantle and Ford both battled alcohol addiction throughout their careers. While most of us outgrow our childhood desire to imitate our heroes, we can easily fall into the trap of imitating poor behaviors and lifestyles as adults. One question we should ask ourselves is this, “Who is the best model for my life?”
All too often we pattern ourselves after the wrong people. For the Christian, the best way to connect with God is to imitate the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. When we turn our lives over to Jesus, we become children of God. We take on the family resemblance and should make every effort to uphold the family name. We are to carry ourselves in a way that would make our Heavenly Father proud. We are to walk in love giving ourselves to others in Christian service. This is what Jesus, our perfect example, did for us. Who is your model in life? Who are you imitating? Are they worthy or do you need to make a few adjustments?
Heavenly Father, You leave nothing to chance. You care about me and want the best for me. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Teach me to live my life in the way He lived His. Amen.