I grew up idolizing my uncles Steve and Mike for their golfing ability.
Both took golf incredibly seriously, and both were very good at it. After golfing for a couple of years as a kid, I was invited to go golfing with them. Because I looked up to them so much I was both nervous and eager to impress. I remember taking these gigantic swings off the tee, imitating golfers from like John Daley and Tiger Woods. Sometimes it worked, but most of the time my ball went everywhere besides where I wanted it to go. I’ll never forget my uncle Mike pulling me over and saying “so, do you want to be good at golf, or do you want to keep pretending to be Tiger Woods?” That day he completely changed my swing, slow it down to make it considerably more accurate. It soon was nothing like Tiger, but it worked much better. My friends would make fun of me for having an “old man” swing, until I easily beat them each and every round. That day I learned a big lesson: trying to imitate the world just does not end well.
The reality is, we often try to imitate others in our world in nearly all that we do. We see a hair style we like, we imitate it. We see a car we like, we buy it. We see an athlete having success, we want to mimic their style. We see someone having success in life and we try to imitate whatever it is they are doing, thinking it will bring us success. Yet, just as the Tiger Woods swing didn’t work for me, trying to imitate the ways of the world seldom brings us what we want or need. Why? Because there is only one truly worth imitating, and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
Instead of spending our lives failing at imitating others, we should focus on imitating the love demonstrated by the life and death of Jesus Christ. This means that we focus on demonstrating love by making other people better, even if it costs us something. See, Jesus was not concerned with how people viewed him or what he himself accomplished. Instead, Jesus constantly focused on how he could make others better in this life and for all eternity. That’s the love of Christ: striving every day to make others better. Are you imitating that love, or are you falling into the trap of imitating the world? This week, I pray that we may all turn our attention to imitating Christ, demonstrating love to others through making them better