Hebrews 13:7 – Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
My son was blessed, or cursed, in the fact that when he was young he looked just like me when I was his age. People who knew me would look at him and almost jump because of the resemblance. Watching their reaction was priceless and often humorous. I hope for his sake he is able to keep his full head of hair longer than I was. I am guessing some of you reading this have the same experience and stories. One of your kids may be a spitting image of you. The interesting thing is our children don’t only resemble us in our looks but they resemble us in our actions. Kids imitate what they see. How many times do you see a son that acts just like their dad, or a daughter just like her mom. Even when they grow up they often times are very similar.
While reading Hebrews 13:7 I thought about the word imitate. What is it that you imitate? Imitate is defined as “to follow as a model.” We often hear people say, I saw how someone did it and I decided I wanted to do it the same way. We look up to people in our profession that are successful and think if we do our job the way they do we can be as successful as they are. The real question we need to ask ourselves though is whose faith do we imitate? Who is it that you look up to in Christ?
I know there are people in my family and in my churches that I look up to because of their strong faith and walk in Christ. I hope and pray that I can show they strength and courage they have in following what Christ has called them to do in their life. Some of them have faced the death of a child, some of them other struggles but through it they have grown in Christ and set an example of how God can deliver us through difficult challenges if we stand firm in Him.
I guess there are two things that really come to mind when I read this verse over and over, who is it that you imitate, but just as important is who is imitating you? Who are you setting an example for? I am guessing there is someone or several someones in your life that are watching you knowing you are a Christian. They are watching to see what you say, what you do and how you handle struggles. They are learning from you and will at some point possibly imitate what they have seen in you. They may be thinking, “I wish my spiritual walk was like….” What would their life look like if they were to imitate you? Are you being a strong example for others?
The math teacher in me thinks about how things can grow exponentially. If there are five people looking at you and living like you do because they know you are a Christian and then each of those five have five watching them and so on pretty soon there can be a lot of people that imitate what started with you. What do you want that to look like? What kind of ripple effect will you have?