Today I sat on the curb outside of a store with my daughter. She was intrigued by a new location where we could sit. For her, the curb was the perfect seat, but for me, my knees were in my chin so I stretched them out. Upon watching me do this, she took her legs and stretched them out and then looked me in the eye and smiled.
She imitated me! Why??? Because she looks up to me. She respects me. She wants to do what I do. She wants to be like me.
That made me think- who do I imitate? Do I imitate my favorite pastor, my favorite athlete, my favorite celebrity, an all star christian author or speaker, or my best friend? Who is it that I look up to and strive to be like?
I realized that in every role of my life, I have one or many role models that I strive to be like. I have pastors, fathers, brothers, friends, co-workers, athletes, etc… that I look at and say “I want to do what I do like they do it.”
As Christians, we generally imitate someone who we respect that truly is a great man or woman of God. We look at who they are in Christ and we want to strive to love Christ the way in which they do. This can be a great thing that directs our life to be more like Christ. However, there could be a very real problem; those who we are imitating are fallible humans who still make mistakes, and too often. just as we imitate them in their successes, we often imitate them in their failures as well.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1:
"And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ."
Paul teaches us that we should imitate Godly men and women but he also shows us here in this verse that we should not do it blindly. We should be checking the actions of others against what the Bible teaches and ask ourselves, “Is what my role model does biblical?”
As I examined my own life, I found many different role models I have had through the years which have made me become more like Christ and some which have pulled me down. I even found some who have done both.
It is so easy to look over the mistakes of your role model because of the respect and love that you have for them. The cliche “love is blind,” is proven true by this situation. We hold our role models on pedestals and treat them as if they can do nothing wrong. This causes us to overlook their sins by rationalizing why it is okay for them to sin the ways that they do.
Or even worse, we hold them so high in respect that we don't even know they are in sin because we look to them for (or as!) all biblical truth rather than opening the Word of God and examining what it says.
So I ask you, Who do you imitate? As a father or mother, as a husband or wife, as a son or daughter, as a business person, as a friend, as a Christian…who do you want to be like?
One more question…Do they imitate Christ