Imitation is in our DNA.
As babies, we imitated our parents and spoke our first words. As kids, we dressed up like our favorite superheroes and tried to be just like them. As teenagers, we tried to follow the latest trends and remain “cool.” As adults, we copy characteristics of people we admire, hoping to one day be like them.
Imitation is good.
But it can also be dangerous.
If we are imitating the wrong thing, we are harming ourselves. Because acting like someone else is powerful. It can change the very fabric of who you are.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians:
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.1 Corinthians 1:11
He doesn’t say to imitate every aspect of his life. He doesn’t want to fill the world with little carbon copies of Paul.
We are only to imitate him as far as he is imitating Christ. As soon as he stops acting like Jesus and starts acting like Paul, we need to stop.
The same goes for our role models.
We should only imitate our parents as far as they are imitating Christ. We should only imitate our pastors as far as they are imitating Christ.
The more you act like someone else, the more you become like them.
Our ultimate goal should not be to become like the Apostle Paul, Charles Spurgeon, Corrie ten Boom, or anyone else, no matter how Christ-like they are.
Our goal is to be like Jesus.
And one day we will be!
One day, we will be glorified, our sanctification will be complete. We will be free of sin and of every encumbrance that keeps us from following in Jesus’ footsteps (Hebrews 12:1).