1 Thessalonians 1:6-10
Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “She speaks just like her mom,” or “He walks just like his dad?” Most of us tend to share some of the characteristics of those we admire the most, even in the way we walk or talk. Watch young children beside their mentors and you often see them adopting the older person’s posture.
When mentors suddenly notice someone imitating their actions, they often feel the burden of responsibility and wonder what kind of example they’re offering. Will those who are watching follow the good things the mentors try to do? Or will they adopt all of the bad habits they see?
Imitating people we respect is natural. The church at Thessalonica must have valued Paul and Silas’ teaching in Acts 17 because Paul commends the church for imitating them. Then he bestows the highest praise on the Thessalonians by indicating that they are imitating the Lord. Even in the face of persecution, they become an example of how to follow Jesus.
What would it take for people to talk about our churches this way? What effect would we see if the model of Jesus became the pattern for our week? Would hope, joy, and love become more visible in our homes, streets, and communities?
May we be people who build a reputation for imitating Jesus. May we orient ourselves to serving a living, true God.
Who models the life of a Christ follower for you? How do you try to imitate their example?
Christ, may my life reflect yours in ways that leave no doubt whom I serve. Amen.