Imitate Me

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Some mornings are so still that water barely moves. This was one of those mornings in Grand Teton National Park. As we walked around String Lake, the reflections of snow covered mountains and newly green trees were one with that which they were mirroring.

As I gazed at this beautiful sight, I was reminded that as a Christ follower, that is exactly what I should be like.

“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:11.

In this verse, the apostle Paul is teaching His readers that they should imitate him, as he imitates Christ. The Corinthian believers knew Paul. He was a living, breathing example of Christlikeness for them to follow. Paul was not asking them to mirror him, but to mirror Christ in him. Paul did not seek glory for himself, because He followed the example of Christ, who did not seek His own glory, but the glory of the Father. Paul sacrificed his own pleasures, desires, and dreams to live a life that would bring others to Christ, just as Christ gave up all the adoration, worship, and magnificence of Heaven to come to earth to rescue you and me. Paul underwent extreme persecution to fulfill the purpose of the God, just as Christ endured humiliation and agony to fulfill His Father’s plan.

It was Paul’s desire that these brothers and sisters he cared so deeply for would be holy, humble, unselfish, pure, faithful, persevering, joyful, kind, and forgiving, just like Christ had made him to be. No longer was Paul hateful, vengeful, proud, and selfish. Christ had changed him forever, and he desired that for every single person.

Just like the image reflected in this water mirrors the mountains and forests, I want my life to reflect Christ. That doesn’t come easily. It comes as I yield myself to Him on a moment by moment basis. It comes as I examine myself, confess my sin, and allow the Holy Spirit to chisel away my pride and self-centeredness and transform me into the image of Christ. And that is when my life becomes truly beautiful.

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