An old anti-smoking commercial years ago showed a little boy following his daddy all day long. He mimicked his every move, trying to be just like his father, right down to wanting to smoke just like him.
Who are your role models? Do they impact your life in any way to think and act in certain ways?
I think that wanting to be like our role models is a natural inclination as human beings. We all have role models, but that person in the seat of the leading role is quite different for each of us.
There used to be a television show on ABC called “The Next Best Thing.” On this show, people do impersonations of celebrities. The good impersonators moved up to the next level while poor ones were eliminated.
Some of those contestants were really good at looking like their star, but the tone of voice was all wrong. Some of them had all the right words, but they said it with the wrong tone, awkward facial expression and astrange gesture. Some, to the surprise and delight of the audience, bear an incredible resemblance to the star they mimicked. They made everyone watching recall the real person they were impersonating.
This show makes me think of Ephesians 5:1-2, a verse in the Bible that encourages people to be imitators of their God: “Be imitators of God. Therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
It is important to emulate a person of good quality as we continue to mature. The character of the person you imitate will consequently be reflected in your own character. You will probably not follow someone who possesses a poor character. On the other hand, learning from and imitating a person with a good and strong character will enrich your personal values.
For believers, we need to spend time reading scripture and getting to know God’s word better. We need to know what he said, how he said them, how he responded to people and circumstances, and how he conducted himself. We need to practice so that we can follow his example.
Although we are not on a television show, people are constantly watching us. As we imitate God, we should be pure and generous, and most importantly, serve selflessly in all we do.
Do people see who you claim to be? Who have you been imitating in the past, who do you imitate today and who do you want to imitate in the future?
Albert Schweitzer once said, “Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”