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Eternal Perspectives: Whom Do We Imitate?

Being an identical twin, I had no problem trying to imitate my sister. Imitating God, however, as Paul suggests in his letter to the Corinthians, is another matter. Imitating God is a day-by-day challenge for all of us.

Look-alikes by Sally Bair

Of the numerous deer that used to come to my yard for their daily ration of corn, two looked identical. I named them The Twins. On close observation, however, I noticed one had a slightly different marking on its face. They weren’t identical after all.

My own identical twin and I aren’t totally identical either, although our school teachers and many classmates disagreed when we were young. Even our mom had trouble until she noted that one of my twin sister’s ears was crooked. It was our only unidentifiable feature. And in fact, some of our old photos are confusing even to us! After decades, our voices still sound the same and we share the exact mannerisms, speech, and physical weaknesses.

To make things more confusing, our mom always dressed us alike until our teen years when we rebelled against our sameness. We wanted to look different from one another, to be individuals like our friends. And as we matured, our interests began to differ. My twin took up painting with watercolors; I enjoyed writing stories. Even our lifestyles and outlooks changed. In many respects, we’re vastly different today.

Identical twins often draw a crowd, especially when dressed alike. Perhaps people feel a need to be like—or at least look like—someone else. The temptation to look like or act like someone else is subtle. Often, young teens are not accepted socially when they dress or act differently. Peer pressure is strong among young people. Adults, too, may try to “keep up with the Joneses” as a way to be accepted into a certain societal group.

God, however, would have us imitate Him rather than others. He created us in His likeness. Even Paul wrote, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

What does it mean to imitate God? For one, it means to follow Christ. The Greek meaning of “follow” is to “be in the same way as” Him. To be like an identical twin, perhaps, imitating Him by spending daily time with Him in His Word and prayer. Like a young boy who trails behind his dad all day, trying to copy his actions, seeking His approval and love, and taking joy in His presence.

Lord, thank You for designing us in Your perfect image. Teach us through Your Word and Spirit how to be Your look-alike in love and mercy and rightness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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