I’m a Follower of Christ - Wholly Loved - May 18
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- 2020 May 18
I’m a Follower of Christ
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children.” Ephesians 5:1
In high school, I had a major inferiority complex. Add to that a fascination with acting and the theater, and I stumbled upon what seemed to be the perfect solution: “testing out” personalities.
I cringe to remember how, if I met someone I really liked, I’d spend time with them, surreptitiously study them, and eventually slip into my new role. I’d dress in clothes they might wear, style my hair like them, even adopt their manner of speaking. When I tired of that character, I’d slip into another. And another.
It worked great—until people started calling me out. “You’re fake,” a friend accused. Her words brought me to tears. Deep down, my heart knew what my mind refused to accept: I was so busy imitating others that I wasn’t my real self. And these people I imitated weren’t even worthy. They were regular, imperfect girls, just like me.
I’ve come to understand what I did wasn’t such an anomaly. Toddlers mimic what they see. And look at fashion—there’s a reason trends are trends. As humans, we have a penchant to imitate and follow.
In today’s verse, the apostle Paul had just finished urging early Christians to turn away from their old lives and selves and instead “put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:24). Before they knew Jesus, they’d lied, used foul language, and got caught up in perversion and immorality. But now, Paul wrote, they should no longer mimic those outside the faith. Instead, they were to “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1).
God gave us His son, Jesus, to be our perfect role model. We are to do as Jesus does, for Jesus Himself did as His Father did.
Today, I know it’s not a bad thing to push aside my flawed self to cultivate the better version. But we need to be careful what—and whom—we’re imitating. Now I see where I went wrong as a teen. Instead of imitating my peers, I need to focus on imitating God. I encourage you to do the same.
Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministry team. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.
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