Tuesday, October 26

Imitating Goodness

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. --3rd John 11


When it comes to how we act, many of us suffer from a complete lack of creativity. We jump on the nearest bandwagon, follow the current trends and do our best to keep pace with the newest and latest fads. Whether the popular culture makes an impact on the clothes we wear, the form of entertainment in which we indulge ourselves, or the kind of social activities we attend, most of what we do is an imitation of something that we have been conditioned to hold up as a standard of "good, acceptable and worthwhile". If the decade of the 80's taught us anything, using popular culture's standards is a flawed approach (anyone out there still wearing puffy painted t-shirts? I thought not).

God wants us to imitate him. He sent his son Jesus as the example of someone who should be imitated. Maybe you remember the WWJD craze? Bracelets, bumper stickers and books, all bore the logo "WWJD". By asking the question "what would Jesus do?" we make an attempt to imitate the godly morals and principles Jesus embodied. Jesus was a living, breathing example of something and someone good we must imitate. As Christians we are called to imitate what is good and God-approved by not merely adhering to strict Biblical rules, but by sincerely asking God to show us how to become a person who is pleasing in his sight.

The year I graduated from high school, we had a few pages in our senior class section of the yearbook filled with pictures of people we were voted "most likely to succeed" or "most likely to own their own dairy". One of the unique categories that year was "most likely to be the next Mother Theresa", in honor of the amazing woman who had passed away that year. By putting that category in there, the yearbook staff and my classmates, whether they did it intentionally or not, were admitting something about the kind of person they felt was worth of imitation.

Mother Theresa knew what it was to serve God whole-heartedly. He dedication to the Lord was amazing, as was she. By imitating the humble, serving nature of Jesus as she ministered to the needs of so many people in Calcutta, she was used by God in a far-reaching way. Although you and I might not ever aspire to that incredible level of greatness and recognition, we should still imitate the Lord. Everything we do should be done in a way that reflects the goodness of God. By imitating Jesus' humble nature, other people will have an opportunity to see God's goodness through us.

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