1 Corinthians 11:1 – Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
One of the simplest keys to teaching a child to do anything is to show them what you want done, and then to ask them to imitate your action. Whether you are wanting to teach pronunciation, dance movements, or the proper way to hold a fork, simple explanations are not enough; a good teacher of children must demonstrate the action.
How true is this principle for teaching life and biblical principles? Paul charges the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. He has no delusions of personal perfection. Remember, this is the same Paul that called himself the chief of all sinners. Yet, Paul understood that, warts and all, he still was a more mature believer than those to whom he wrote. So, he undertook an amazing challenge. He called the people to take a look at his life, see how he lived, and imitate him in the particular area of living about which he was teaching.
You may object, arguing that you lack the growth and Christian perfection necessary to help others to follow Christ. Such an objection, however, is not useful. Paul was not perfect, but he was growing. Besides, how dare we say to God, “I don’t want to do your will; I’m still too attached to my sin. Maybe I’ll try to be an example later.” We do not say such things to God, because, if we are genuine believers, we deeply desire that our lives would give honor to our Lord. That means that our hearts’ desire must be for us to give God glory. And, if we are living to accomplish this in a biblical way, we ought not fear asking others to watch what we do and imitate it.
Today, ask yourself what would happen if others around you saw your actions and mimicked them. Would they become more like Christ? If not, ask yourself what it is about you that does not reflect the glory of God. Repent, and turn your attention toward doing that for which you were created. Then, as you glorify God, allow those who are younger than you in the faith to look, see how you live, and imitate you as you imitate Christ.
Lord, I recognize that I am a weak reflection of your glory. I fail so often and so regularly that, on my own, I will not be a good help to others. I pray that you will not allow this to be the case in my life. I repent of my selfish ways, and I desire to spread a passion for you among your people. Help me, I pray, to turn from my sin and turn to righteous living. Then, I pray that you will help me to help others to look like you.