Beware imitations with limitations …
Two longstanding church members were in a boat fishing with a new Christian. Fishing is a great time for conversation and both of the seasoned saints were sharing his fervent faith and devotion to God. As they were discussing their faith, the hat of one man blew into the water. So he stood up, calmly stepped onto the water, walked over to his hat, picked it up off the water, and walked backed to the boat.
The new Christian was amazed how this Christian could seemingly walk on water. As the new Christian was pondering this, the other church member’s hat blew into the water. He also very calmly stepped onto the water, walked over to his hat, picked it up off the water, and walked backed to the boat.
The new Christian was overwhelmed at how spiritual these men must be to have walked on the water as they did. Then the new Christian thought to himself, “Well, if these guys can do it, so can I,” and he “helped” his hat blow into the water. He very calmly stepped out of the boat and was inhaling water instantly. As he fought his way to the surface, gasping for breath, the two long-standing church members turned to each other and said, “I think we should have told him about the sand bar on this side of the boat.”
Imitation without sound knowledge can quickly sink you!
It can be easy to want to imitate the apparent success of some people, but what may appear to be something worth imitating isn’t always the case.
The Apostle Paul actually encouraged others to imitate him, “And you should imitate me …” 1 Corinthians 11:1a. Paul could say that because he knew who he was imitating, “… just as I imitate Christ,” 1 Corinthians 11:1b.
All of us who call ourselves children of God are called to live just like Jesus:
“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did,” 1 John 2:6.
If someone were to imitate you, would they be imitating Christ?