You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.1 Thessalonians 1:6

As a kid, I loved to watch actors do impersonations of other performers or politicians. More recently, pop singer Ariana Grande has perfected how to sound like other female artists. Sometimes it feels as though the imitator is better than the real person because they magnify the voice, unique characteristics, or mannerisms to embellish their performance.

When I became a father, I noticed early on how much my first-born son took on many of my mannerisms and way of speaking, right down to how he walked. As he got older, I found myself encouraging him in many areas of my own interest. I figured that he would enjoy many of the same things since he was so much like me.

In the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, Paul encourages the first century believers to imitate the Lord just as he and the other apostles do in order to experience the richness of the gospel. That is a risky suggestion.

So often I fall short of where I hope to be on my journey of faith. On the other hand, when people see me with all my faults, slowly imitating Christ more and more, they recognize that God has not finished his work in me through the Holy Spirit. Even so, I can still be an inspiration to them. God is glorified.

How about you? Do you inspire others in your walk with Jesus? Do they see your joy in the midst of difficulties? Do you try more and more to imitate Christ?

God wants to use you – will you let him?

Dear Lord, help me to become more and more like you as I listen to the Holy Spirit and study your Word. Work in me and through me, I pray so I can help others draw near to you. Amen.

By Rick Thiessen
Used by Permission

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