You are what you

Someone speaking quite a long time ago gave me a pretty good piece of advice concerning employment “prepare for the job that you want, not the job that you have”. The concept seemed pretty simple actually, if you want to succeed in the business world, spend time in preparation for a promotion. Ask those around you in higher positions what skills they needed in order to achieve the position they are in, and spend time “imitating” those things they have done in order to be successful. Any good “boss” wants every employee to be successful in their position.

 Four times in the New Testament the word “imitate” is used, we are familiar with this term in the secular world. We imitate those who are successful in various areas of life. Notice what Paul says, he says “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). The word imitate literally means to “become”, or “be like” me.  Paul also uses this word in saying “therefore I urge you, imitate me” (1 Cor 4:16). The Hebrew write said “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:8). Last John closes this thought out by saying “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good, He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).

 Think of the word imitate in our lives today, is this a word that we could use in describing to others our lives, to “imitate me”, could we say as Paul “be like me, as I am like Christ”, to literally tell others if you follow my path I you will be like Christ. Could we “urge” others to really and truly “become like me” as Paul said. Our example to so many around us is one of the most important things we carry. I once heard someone say that “a sermon lived is better than a thousand sermons preached”. People see us every day, and it is likely that someone sees those things we are doing, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our example is such that if someone follows it, they will have a heavenly home. The Hebrew writer is clear we should “imitate” those who “through faith and patience inherit the promises”, we should desire to be like those who will be in heaven because of their faithfulness to God, and we must be in a position where if others imitate our faithfulness to God they will also spend eternity in heaven.

For our young people know this, there are many good examples to imitate of others, John is clear in telling us to “imitate that which is good”, however, take special care to imitate those who will help you get to heaven, and take special care to be the example for others so that if they “become” like you, they will also be in heaven.