aaron was at the house over the weekend, showing off a talent i didn’t know he had. he is able to imitate will ferrell’s impersonation of harry carey as well as anyone i’ve ever seen. he’s hilarious! i pulled up an old vintage SNL video on youtube of will doing his impersonation, and aaron was spot on – even used all the same phrases as will ferrell. i was cracking up!
of course, i ought to be used to it. i live with two females who have the sense ability to create laughter by imitating others.
i wonder sometimes though, is it mean to imitate others? i’m thinking, usually, when we do it, we focus on a certain characteristic, a facial feature, a voice, a mannerism for which the person is best known, and not always in a positive way. is it mean? or am i just being a debbie downer, as ashley calls me sometimes?
then again, i suppose it can be seen as a high form of flattery. i have been imitated at events over the years, and i’m usually the one laughing the hardest.
according to paul, imitation is part of the christian life. in writing to the corinthians, he says it twice, though in two slightly different ways.
in 1 corinthians 4.16, paul says, “imitate me.”
in 1 corinthians 11.1, he says “imitate me” again, but adds a little extra… “just as i imitate Christ.”
taking these two statements together in their context, paul is telling these new christians this: i care about you more than you know, like a father cares for his children. no one desire more than i do to see you know Christ and grow in him. so imitate me because i am doing all i can to imitate Christ every day. and i do it so that as many people as possible will come to know him.
three implications for today…
1. imitate Jesus. paul wants us to imitate him BECAUSE he imitates Christ. in other words, as he says so frequently, the life and words and actions and priorities and decisions of a Christ-follower should look just like Christ’s.
2. imitate a Christ-imitator. that is, have role models who are godly. charles barkley doesn’t want to be your role model, and for good reason! don’t choose him. find role models in those who best imitate Jesus. let the others all go.
3. be imitable. while barkley doesn’t want to be a role model, he is. we all are. someone out there admires us and wants to be like us, even if it is only our own children. that’s pressure. how are you doing. ask yourself: if someone truly were to imitate me, what kind of person would they become? if they imitated me, would they come anywhere close to imitating Jesus?