Grow• Devotion #6: Imitation

As a Student Director, oftentimes I do not get a chance to meet the parents of a student until after I have already spent time with their child. One thing that is always interesting to me is seeing how similar many students are to their parents. I see similar mannerisms, vocabulary, morals, and even humor on some level. Every time I see this in a student, I get really nervous for when the day comes for me to be a parent. It reminds me of 2 Thessalonians 3:7 and 9, “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you… It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate.”

We naturally imitate those we are in close proximity to, especially those we admire. So, if we want to see ourselves grow, we need to surround ourselves with people we can imitate to grow. You might be saying, “Well Justin, I cannot pick who I am in close proximity with. I cannot change my family, co-workers, or roommates. So how am I supposed to shift who I am imitating?” You may not be able to change those things, but that does not mean you cannot be more proactive about placing godly people in your life. You have to seek out places where you can imitate those people who you know have a solid foundation in Christ. This is something that you have to actively do, and cannot be something left to the backburner. 

Ephesians 4:22-24 adds, “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”You have to actively put off and put on a renewed spirit and new self. It takes active steps to grow, and the first step in ensuring strong and stable growth is making sure that those you imitate have a strong relationship with the Lord. That might mean you need to join a Growth Community and regularly meet with the leader of that group. It could mean serving in a ministry at the church and observing the head of that ministry and how they follow God. It could mean finding an experienced, wise Christian to mentor you and meet with you regularly. Do not become passive about who you allow yourself to imitate. Imitate those that will push you to truly grow in your relationship with Christ.

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