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Eternal Perspectives: Are We Imitators or Hypocrites?


Imitating Christ is not easy. Too often we tend to let pride rear its ugly head that prevents us from loving others as He loved us. Writing such a truth convicts me of my own shortcomings, faults, weaknesses—um, I mean sins. How about you?


ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair


Imitators


The Brown Thrasher is a shy bird, yet it has the largest tune repertoire, over 1,000 types. Some authorities say they sing up to 5,000 songs! It’s hard to imagine such a variety of rich notes can come from the throat of one bird. Although Thrashers are easy to miss, with their reddish-brown plumage that blends with much of nature, their myriad of mesmerizing whistles, hisses and clicks are not. Many of their phrases, repeated twice, are loud, bold, and abrupt. And sung so fast they take mere seconds to complete. I once tried to count their short songs but soon gave up.


Related to the Mockingbird, many of the Brown Thrasher's songs are obvious imitations of other birds. I wonder which of his many songs really belong to him? When will the real Brown Thrasher speak up? Albeit his beautiful songs are meant for camouflage, he seems to come across as fake, phony, or hypocritical.


The word hypocrite means one who pretends to be what he is not. We most often think of a hypocrite as someone who acts in a pious or virtuous manner without really being so.


We can find hypocrites anywhere. In a school where a girl pretends to be a friend but disparages the friend behind her back. In the sanctuary of a home where a parent who presents himself or herself to the world as a perfect role model habitually abuses family members. Or behind an office door where one can secretly view pornography or purposely mismanage finances to his or her benefit.


Jesus severely rebuked the religious leaders of His day for appearing and sounding righteous. They were vocal in their so-called piety but did not practice the true law, that of loving God and their neighbor more than their traditions and rules. Inwardly, they were filled with sin and hypocrisy.


Unfortunately, even the Christian church has hypocrites. All of us need to examine our hearts to see if there is any hint of hypocrisy in our lives. We need to "Be imitators of God and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1) God forbid that we should be like the beautiful Brown Thrasher, singing someone else's song, making others believe we are someone we are not, hiding our true voice.


Lord, thank You for being the perfect example of love. Show us through Your Word and Spirit how to follow Your example of love in thought, word, and deed so we never sing an imitation of love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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