Imitation: the best form of flattery

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.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,

“Awake, O sleeper,
rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:1-14

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Turnbuckles (with some “saddled dead horses”) | Hensley, AR | October 2019

My mom told me, “He’s just insecure. That’s why he shows off so much.” I didn’t believe her. I was certain that he was so ultra cool, this bigger-than-life classmate. I saw nothing of insecurity in him. I was insecure. Not Mark (not his real name).

Mark was an imitation. He wasn’t the real thing. He was cool to some of our classmates. But others thought little of him at all. Some completely ignored him. Others were oblivious to him. His coolness was in his own mind. He was an imitator, a pretender. I’m sure, however, that he was imitating someone else. He, no doubt, wanted to be like a big brother, favorite uncle, or famous person.

Imitation is the best form of flattery. We imitate those we look up to. We imitate those who are good examples. We imitate those who are valued and honored by others. But therein lies the danger. Not all the world considers God as worthy to be imitated. Not everyone  believes that God is truly good.

We who know and believe that God is good are called to imitate God. We who recognize God’s complete goodness seek to be like him. We have considered God’s complete goodness, and his true hero status. He is like no one else. His love, purity, power, kindness, mercy, justice, and faithfulness are those attributes that make him worthy to be imitated.

God does not need to be flattered. We don’t need to butter him up. We who recognize God’s goodness will certainly want to imitate him as much as possible. That is, after all, our calling.

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