“Be imitators of Christ.” — from I Cor 11:1
When my son Brent was about four years old, he imitated his father by getting a hold of one of his dad’s razors and attempting to shave. What he got was a nick in his precious little chin captured in the picture below. I found him confused and bleeding in the bathroom. We had had a previously scheduled appointment for later that afternoon at the Sears Portrait Studio so I decided to go ahead with the photo session, but even now when I look at the cut on my little boy’s chin, it raises the hairs on the back of my neck.
In the picture he is wearing a Star Trek uniform that I had made for him. He not only imitated his dad, but he often imitated the Star Trek characters he read about. Yes, he was already reading Star Trek novels by this age!
Anyway, this brings me to my point.
Imitation can be a good thing, but it has its limits. He could imitate his dad, but he couldn’t actually shave since he didn’t yet have a beard. He could imitate Klingon Worf, but he wasn’t actually ever going to be a Klingon. Obviously – right?
Yet, so many of us when we imitate Jesus, forget we are not Jesus. The followers of Jesus do a lot of damage when they forget this. Jesus had the right to do things we will never have the right to do – like judge others, like turn the temple tables over, like speak with an ultimate authority, like claim to know the motivation of others, like believe we are always right. The list goes on.
We should imitate Christ, but humbly – remembering we worship God best when we give up our desires and needs in order to care for others.
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