Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.” Ephesians 5:1-2
I am not much of a sports guy, but I married into a sports family. In fact I have a running joke with my wife’s grandfather. Whenever he sees me he’ll ask me “Did you see the game yesterday?” Then he’ll watch me scramble for the most blatantly ambiguous sports jargon I can think of to answer his equally ambiguous question. He knows I didn’t see the game. He knows I am unaware of what sport he’s referring to. But he thinks it’s funny to see me say something like “Yeah, they should have switched to zone defense in the 8th inning.”
But one competition I can give you stats on is a good cooking competition. I am the Iron Chef of watching Iron Chef. Chef’s are my “sports heroes”. So you can imagine how much the following statement from my son made me so proud.
His uncle was watching him for the weekend. And that Saturday they were switching between a couple college football games. Somewhere in the channel surfing they passed by some unknown cooking show. My son, at 5 years old, looks up at his uncle and says “Can we watch that cooking show? It’s way better than football.”
When I got the text with that statement I felt like my job as a dad was complete – much to the horror of my brother in law.
Now, did I force my son to like these shows? Not at all. Does he ask to watch them at home? No way – not when he can watch Grizzy and Archibald. But he was drawn to what his dad exposed him to the most.
As children of God – those who are being transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2) – we should find ourselves being drawn more and more toward a life that imitates and replicates how we see our Father, God, living His life. Discovering His character in the words of the Bible will do more to transform our own character than any self-help book, podcast or conference ever could.
But we cannot imitate who we don’t study. Our lives cannot be transformed into the likeness of someone we don’t regularly spend time with. And in order to follow the example of His love, we must be willing to respond in ways our souls would have never responded on their own.
To imitate God is to admit that who we are was never good enough without Him.
To imitate God is to believe that the former statement doesn’t disqualify us from His invitation to do so.
To imitate God is to be willing to sacrifice time and concentration, pick up humility and repentance, and step into a life that puts to death our former way of doing things.
As we spend time with God, He exposes us to His heart.
Then we begin to be drawn to imitate Him when circumstance demand a response from us.
And I don’t know if God likes football or cooking competitions more. But I know that the more I’m with Him, I’m compelled to “do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly” with Him (Micah 6:8) – following the example of a love-filled life. I pray that the same is true of you as well.
Pastor Cris Buck