Journal Entry // July 25, 2022
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (ESV)1 Corinthians 11:1
I always find it challenging when I read this statement from Paul to the Corinthian church. Initially, I tend to start out thinking that I am unable to make this statement to anyone at the moment. I don’t really want anyone to imitate me, because I myself am not truly imitating Christ. I feel and see the huge disparity between the life of Christ and my own life. I see my sin looming so large and prevalent in my heart. I know the fear that has a tight grip on me. I understand my failure to truly love Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I see all this and I don’t want to have anyone imitate me. Yet Paul could tell this church to follow his example and life. Surely Paul was sinful and was afraid. Surely he had moments of doubt and worry. So how could he make this statement? Our imitation of Paul is in a life full of repentance and humility. A life of following after Christ. Not a perfect sinless life of complete obedience, but a life understanding our weakness and dependence upon Jesus for everything. A life filled with the grace and mercy of God.
This is the life that Paul wants us to imitate. A life that seeks only to love Jesus in faithfulness and humility. There is this tendency within me to separate the spiritual from the secular. To create a boundary between me controlling my life and a life a of obedience to Christ. It shows up in the most simple ways. How is my heart when I am doing the routine things of life? When I am working at my job? When I am fixing something around the house? When I am helping my kids with a task? When I am listening to someone who is struggling? When hardship overtakes me? These are times where I can really see and understand the true character of my heart. These are the moments when the Lord brings clarity to the state of my heart toward him.
You see it is in these very moments that Paul wants me to imitate him as he imitates Christ. Paul wants me to give glory to Christ in every situation. I want to bring glory to myself in these very same situations. I want to take control over even the mundane things. Truly it is in the mundane that I often forget Christ and just live my life. Imitating Christ means that I am to simply do ALL things for the glory of Christ. Drinking coffee, listening to a friend, working on my car, selling my house, taking out the trash… each of these are opportunities to deepen my commitment and relationship with Jesus. My reliance upon the grace of Christ should happen as simply as breathing. A rhythmic involuntary pattern of abiding with Christ in simplicity and humility.
Lord… I need this moment by moment understanding of your grace and mercy in my life. Continue to work in my heart to be more like Jesus every day. It is challenging to ask this for I know that it is no simple matter to follow Christ. My sinful heart continually tries to pull me away from the path of faithfulness. Lord, keep me true. Keep my feet moving forward along the level and secure path of your love and grace and mercy. Abide with me and teach me to abide with you. Draw my heart to yourself and make the things of this world distasteful to me. May I only crave the pure and satisfying water of Jesus himself.