“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children (Eph. 5:1).”
Last week, I asked my 5 month old son, “Can you say Momma?” His eyes got really big, his eyebrows tilted inwardly while analyzing my voice, and his lips began moving in the same direction as mine to imitate what I was saying. He was trying to copy both my facial features and voice. This is how humans learn–by imitating the world around them.
Image And Likeness Of God
In the spiritual world, God wants us to imitate him; for we are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27). When we first become Christians, we may not be prepared to grasp the meatier elements of the spiritual realm—that is why the Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 3:2 that new believers must drink milk first, not solid food, since they were not mature enough to handle the weightier truths of the gospel.
As we mature, we begin to grow in Christ, transition from liquid to solid “spiritual food,” communicate more effectively, and shift from crawling to walking. This spiritual development occurs throughout our entire life, and if we follow Christ as obedient children, we will bear more of his image. Our personality will reflect his attributes because He is the one whom we are conforming and emulating into.
Imitation In The Christian Life
A common statement I like to say when something cool happens is: “Boom Chakalaka.” This phrase was used because when I was younger, I played NBA Jam on Super Nintendo. Whenever a basketball player would consecutively make baskets, their ball would turn on fire and the announcer would exclaim: “Boom Chakalaka.”
I imitated this saying even into my adult life, and now my own son says the same thing. Because he hears it from me, he picks up on some of the same idiosyncrasies, language, and non-verbal expressions. He also makes the same gestures like me when he gets excited and even picked up on some bad habits, like not wanting to make the bed or put his clothes in the laundry.
Reflecting The Attributes Of God
Believers will struggle to imitate God because we are by nature sinners. There is a propensity for us to be lazy and not cultivate the fruit of the spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:20). But when we spend quality time with him in prayer, at church, and by reading our Bibles, we will begin acting and thinking just like Him.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, nothing is impossible with God. His Holy Spirit resides in us and gives us the power to triumph over sin. Do you believe this truth? I hope so! Keep imitating God and advancing the kingdom of righteousness to every tribe, tongue, and nation on Earth. Amen.
Article written by Chad A. Damitz