During the week of Thanksgiving, my daughter, Abigail, and her two boys visited us. Her boys are six years old and three years old. As you can guess, they are full of energy and kept us running. We took walks to the park, baked cookies and croissants, read books, and played games. My arms almost fell off from pushing them on the swings, but I loved every minute.
One of the cutest things was how Finn, the three-year-old imitated his brother, Jimmy. If I fixed food, Finn was ready to eat—until Jimmy said, “I don’t want that.” Immediately, Finn refused to eat it too. If Jimmy wanted to swing or climb up the slide at the park, Finn had to do the same. No matter what his older brother wanted to try, Finn was game and followed his example.
I started thinking about this leading to negative attributes. What if Jimmy decided to do something a little daring, but which would be dangerous for his younger brother. Would Finn still try it? I’m pretty sure he would.
And how does this relate to us as adults and as Christians? Ephesians 5:1 tells us: “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (NKJV)
We are to imitate God, not others around us, yet the temptation to try to be like someone we admire is almost too strong to ignore. And, yes, there are certain admirable traits that we want to emulate. Still, we must be careful. Even the best of us are led astray at times.
What do we do then? What does scripture say over and over? Let’s look at a few verses.
“…for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” Hebrews 7:19 (NKJV)
“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.” Psalm 73:28 (NKJV)
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw nearto you….” James 4:7-8a (NKJV)
Drawing near to God gives us the incentive we need to become imitators of God, not imitators of mankind. He is the One we need to be like. God will never lead us astray. We can always trust Him to have our best in mind.
Jimmy and Finn were so cute together. Finn imitated his brother in everything because he admired his brother and wanted to be like him. That wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t spend so much time together.
We must spend time with God. Good quality time where we can see His character and study how we should be. Like these little boys know each other so well, let’s take the time to know God by drawing near to Him and imitating Him.