Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.
This verse immediately makes me think of my friend’s son when he was a little boy. He began tucking in his shirt into his pants all the time. And since he was only 4 he did not do it right; he cinched the waistband up super high to make sure the shirt wouldn’t untuck. It was not very a flattering look and was extremely amusing. In addition, his parents were wealthy and “hip” so unflattering and amusing were not the looks they were trying to achieve with his expensive and trendy wardrobe. Several times a day my friend would untuck his shirt for him, but next thing you know he was sporting his preferred Tweedle-Dum look again. This went on for several days several times a day. It was hilarious. Finally, his mom asked him why he tucks his shirts in all the time. He said he does it because Daddy does it. And that was true and so obvious; I don’t know why it didn’t occur to us before! His dad was a business man who wore a suit with a tucked in shirt every single day. Little dude was just imitating his dad. Isn’t that adorable?
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children... My friend’s son is dearly loved. He tucked his shirts in because that’s what the one he is loved by so much did with his shirt. He was not tucking in his shirt to be loved by his dad. He was loved and adored by his dad long before he started tucking in his shirt to be like him. Imitating him was the result of the dad’s love to the son, not the other way around.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children... I think some people have a misconception of what Believers are doing when we imitate Christ; it is not for show or in order to get something from God. This passage is not saying, “Hey, you’re a child of God, start acting like it!” anymore than my friend’s husband ever said, “Hey, you’re my son, and we tuck our shirts in around here, boy!” No. Being dearly loved is an amazing thing, and the Believers who realize that our Dad is crazy about us, adores us, blesses us, and loves us without condition emulate that. This relationship changes what we would otherwise normally do and say. My Dad loves me so much; I want to copy that because I want THAT around me all the time. I do not follow God to get him to love me; I follow him because he already does!
1 John 4:9-10
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
PS. My friend’s son is now 21 years old and a fine dresser!
Thank you so much for how much you love me. It is immense. Thank you that I have never had to do anything to gain your love; you just give it, and you love me exactly like I am. It’s incredible. Thank you so much. I do want to be like you. Thank you for your Holy Spirit giving me the ability and the desire to do just that, and I love you and pray in Jesus’ name, amen.