by Veronne Carter
1 Cor. 10:33-11:1 - “…just as I please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (NASB)
Jesus and a teacher of the Jewish law had a discussion on the Law of Moses. It clearly tells us all to love our neighbor. The teacher asks Jesus: ‘clarify for me who my neighbor is so that I can make sure I’m good to him.’ Jesus proceeds with the parable of the Good Samaritan. We all know it, right? (it’s even a VeggieTales episode). A guy gets beat up and left for dead, and his own people are too important or too busy to stop and help him. But a foreigner (and an enemy by ethnicity) sees him and compassionately stops to help him. Why? Because the man needs help. He even goes beyond and tends to the hurt man’s needs for a longer period of time – expending his own resources to ensure the man is well taken care of while he recovers.
It is obvious that this stranger who gave sacrificially was the hurt man’s neighbor. The teacher of the law also admits that. Wonderful story, Jesus. I get the point!
But then, Jesus does what Jesus usually does – He takes it from a story and places the burden on us. He tells the teacher of the law “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:37) Go and do the same: Imitate. There is no better form of flattery than imitating someone. It says to them, ‘I see your life, and I admire how you live or how you do such and such so much that I want to do ___ like you do it.’
As you continue in prayer this week, who is it that God has placed in your life that you can look at their life, how they face circumstances, how they treat their family, how they follow Jesus, how they minister, and you can say, ‘I can use that as a model to imitate.’
That is biblical. Paul tells the Corinthian Christians “…Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:33-11:1). He tells the Church in Ephesus, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just a sChrist also loved you and gave Himself up for us…” (Eph. 4:32-5:2).
Paul urges Titus to show himself “to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach…”(Titus 2:6-8); and he urges young Timothy to not let anyone look down on his “youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”(1 Tim. 4:12). Yes, even you young adults and teens can be an example.
So, who are youimitating? Whose life in Christ do you admire and watch and seek to imitate as you attempt to live a stronger Christian life? Be mindful to follow those who are following Jesus!
And…who is watching yourlife? Are you modeling a life in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Are you living in integrity? Are you seeking holiness and sanctification?
Ephesians 5:15 reminds us: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” (NIV)