From 1 Cornithians Chapter 4:
“I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
I exhort you therefore,
be imitators of me.
For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord,
and he will remind you of my ways
which are in Christ,
just as I teach everywhere in every church.”
1 Corinthians 4:14-17
“Follow the Leader” is a fun children’s game played all over the world. Varying rules and actions keep the game challenging as the children follow exact movements, sounds, and facial expressions. But the aggravating imitating game – not a real game but a real tool of pestering, produces a rise to tempers and impatience. The more the one being mimicked is mocked, the more irritating it becomes. Anyone with a brother or sister knows this game. No matter how many time the imitated yells, “Stop it!”, the imitator responds with the same. It’s the game that never ends.
Yet, we are told the greatest flattery is that of imitation. Paul wasn’t looking for flattery when he told the Corinthian believers to be imitators of him. As a child follows the footsteps of the parents, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to follow him as a father, the one who introduced them to the gospel. He taught them truth then, and they had no reason to believe he would teach them anything different now. He even sent them Timothy as a reminder of his ways, not because Paul thought that highly of himself, but because his ways were established in Christ.
Earlier in the chapter Paul told the believers, he considered it a small thing that they examined him. Paul stood or fell in the Lord’s examination/knowledge of his heart. Small or no, others, especially those who do not follow Jesus, do examine our lives. We do not stand or fall in their judgment. We are the Lord’s and we live to receive his praise not another’s. If indeed, we do as Paul told the Ephesian church,
“Therefore be imitators of God,
as beloved children;
and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you,
and gave Himself up for us,
an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma …
be careful how you walk,
not as unwise men, but as wise,”
For Thought: There is one Father and another father. One is holy. The other is a liar. One gives life. The other brings death. Which are you following?
Today’s Reading: Ephesians 4:25-42; What example are you leaving others to follow?
Our Prayer: Heavenly Father, you alone are worthy to be followed. As you are holy you have called us to be holy. In Christ Jesus you have made us holy. May we learn to walk in Christ day by day leaving an example of life for other to find and follow. Teach us to be careful how we walk. That we may bring you glory.