Recently during my drive to work, I spotted a lively bunch of flowers at the entrance of a mobile home park close to my neighborhood. The colorful flowers were so pretty; I slowed down to enjoy the view and realized after a closer look that the flowers weren’t real. They were fake! What a surprise – they were a great imitation of the real thing.
That experience got me thinking about countless “imitation” items available at my local grocery store: imitation sweeteners, creamers, and flavored extracts for baking. The name of some items such as I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter even suggests that we can’t tell the difference between their product and the real thing.
The list is endless; and most products do a pretty good job of imitating the real thing. As Christians we are instructed to be “imitators of Christ” and live our lives in such a way that the world will recognize Christ living in and through us. Sometimes I fall short (especially when I’m under stress) and say or do things that make me cringe later in reflection.
Thankfully, we have a forgiving God who loves and guides us though our mistakes, and who is continually refining our character to be more like Jesus. The words in Skip Mozisek’s song, “I Wanna Be Like Jesus,” are my daily prayer. And like those beautiful silk flowers, I will never be perfect; but I hope people think of Jesus, the real thing, when they see me – because I wanna be like Him.
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christi loved us and gave himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
– Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
“Father, with all of the imitations out there, please help me to be an imitator of You, the true God. I want to live my life as Christ and be full of compassion, love and forgiveness. Show me areas in my life that I can improve and become more Christ-like, including…”