What comes to mind when you think of the word imitation?
Imitation leather that cracks,
fake Gucci handbags,
knockoff watches that try to
the express purpose being to
impress without cost.
Maybe it's imitation in the arts–
someone tries to replicate another's
sound in music,
copying a style of painting,
using a respected author's way with words.
But imitation isn't just about replicating expensive items and reproducing famous works of art. It's also a way in which we learn.
Children, for example, learn by following what is patterned for them. Younger siblings watch older ones to learn a new skill, and kids emulate their parent’s actions and attitudes for better or worse.
We learn by example.
Who do we learn from? Where are we getting our inspiration? Even as adults, we are continually being inspired by others. We read an author’s work and love how the words fall on our ears, catching our imagination and igniting our own thoughts and words. We read many different books to find our own voice and learn to write by imitating what we enjoy. Our writing style grows out of what inspires us. This is more about being inspired and less about replicating another’s work.
But there is One who we are told to imitate.
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT).
Jesus left us a perfect example to follow, but the enemy of our souls and minds provides us with many counterfeit promises that seem easier to attain and require less from us. When life gets hard and the schedule demanding, we can forget where our strength comes from. We dig deeper within ourselves but find that the well is empty.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, we often read that He would find a quiet place to be alone with his Father to pray and find strength (Luke 5:16). If Jesus needed that time, I must realize how much more I need to prioritize time alone with God.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NIV)
Can people notice that I have been with Jesus? Am I allowing His heart and strength to saturate me so that I begin to resemble Him more and more?
Mary Folkerts is mom to four kids and wife to a farmer, living on the southern prairies of Alberta, where the skies are large and the sunsets stunning. She is a Proverbs 31 ministries COMPEL Writers Training member and is involved in church ministries and music. Mary’s personal blog aims to encourage and inspire women and advocate for those with Down Syndrome, as their youngest child introduced them to this extraordinary new world. For more inspiration, check out Joy in the Small Things https://maryfolkerts.com/