“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”1 Corinthians 11:1
Quite a statement! It is just 11 words, but it speaks of Paul’s desire to see those around him become like Jesus. It speaks of a type of discipleship that was more modeling than teaching. It also speaks of a man who was willing to let people see him for who he really was. The invitation – see my heart for Christ and copy it.
Can we do that today? Can we invite others to not just learn from our words, but also our lives? Yes! Yes we can invite others to learn from our lives. In fact, we must! This is the mark of authentic followers of Jesus. They are people who are not trying to hide themselves from others. Instead, they seek to show themselves to others. In order to do so they must be genuine. They must be who they claim to be. They must also claim who they really are. What a task!
And yet, as I think about that, I am reminded that essentially we do that by nature. Oh yes, there are those who aspire to greatness and put on a face that they hope people will not see through. These are people of power. These are people of prestige. These are not people I am usually speaking to. Us average Joes don’t put on much of a front in the presence of others. Sure, we try to mind our manners and stuff, but we are not fake. We do not hide our true nature from people. We share it. For those who are married, we share it with our wives. If we have children, we share it with them. Do we have coworkers? They see it too. Even our neighbors see us and who we are, at least a little. It is natural!
Yes, being open in this way can be scary for us. We know that we are not perfect. Such living may call us to grow and change. We may also fear that our imperfections will lead someone else astray. It is quite a challenge. Yet, if it is going to happen naturally anyway, why not make it count for Jesus! Seek to be that person that Jesus is calling you to be. Do it when you successfully obey Him and when you stumble badly. Be righteous in Christ’s way, and when you sin deal with it in the way Christ told us. What a sharing we could do together. When we live together authentically, we truly speak into each other’s lives. Maybe we will even speak into a life of someone we did not know was watching!
Something to think about,