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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Finding the right fit

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT)
Have you ever made one of those really dumb moves where you tried to imitate something you saw, like a style someone was wearing or they way they were behaving, only to find the way you managed to pull it off just was a total fail? I have! You don't realize you are even doing it sometimes until you look back in horror or humor at what has just occurred! When I try to find a new hairstyle, I look at photos in magazines, watch people on TV who seem to have a style I admire, etc. When I ask the beautician if she can do that with my hair, inevitably she ways "no". Why? My hair won't conform to that cut. There are a lot of times when we try to "conform" to some particular way of living only to find we are not really cut out for it! The truth is that God made us to conform to a particular "style" of living that just doesn't line up with much this world has to offer.
We might try to imitate a lot of things in this lifetime we are given, finding more of them add up on the "fail" side of the list rather than the "awesome" side. It isn't unlikely that some of us find ourselves with a full journal of "fails" and a short list of "awesome"! One thing I have noticed - the more I try to imitate Christ, the closer things get to being added to the "awesome" side of the list! When we imitate something, there are basically a couple meanings:
1) to follow as a pattern, model, or example;
2) to be or appear like; and
3) to produce a copy of something.
When we think of imitating Christ, all three of these carry some meaning. First, we are to constantly keep in mind the example he set out as he took on human form and walked this earth. He modeled the behavior we are to model - something tangible we can actually wrap our arms around. He modeled forgiveness, how kindness can be the hallmark of all you do, and even how to take care of family and friends. Second, we often think we can just try to "look like" someone else, but deep down inside, we aren't that individual. When we keep his example in the forefront and strive to imitate that modeled behavior, we do a lot more than "look like" Jesus - we become like him. Lastly, the very term "Christian" means to be "like Christ". All of what Jesus taught and modeled was that of being made new - being made in his image and taking on his personality, traits, and behaviors. In essence, we become "copies" because he imprints our lives with his presence, peace, and perfection.
We don't always find the "fit" perfect at first, but when we actually pause to consider it, the "fit" might not seem like the right one to begin with, but it perfectly "frames" and "adorns" our lives with all the beauty we long for in the first place! Just sayin!