October 20, 2016

Be an Imitator

Written by Tripp Prince


Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 20, 2016

By Tripp Prince

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

I remember the first time I traveled to Asia and took time to explore one of the many outdoor street markets. Stretching for miles and miles on end, these markets claimed to sell all of the top brands in fashion and accessories at a fraction of the cost. However, upon closer inspection one could quickly tell these were cheap imitations, made to look authentic but lacking all of the traits that made the products worthy of a high sticker price, such as quality of materials or assembly.

When we hear the word “imitation,” we assume it to be of lesser quality than the real thing. While this may be true of knockoff handbags or designer jeans, it isn’t the case with Christian discipleship. Jesus invites you to be an imitator, but never a cheap imitation!

In the Bible, the word “imitator” can also mean “follower,” and to be a follower of Jesus is to faithfully respond to the most basic and foundational call of God upon your life. Scripture reminds us time and time again that to be a disciple of Jesus is to be restored into his very likeness. As Paul says, we are “being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16), and by the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, this restoration is never a superficial resemblance but is a complete renovation of heart, mind, and body.

When I read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, I’m struck by the confidence he has in his own life of discipleship that he can encourage someone else to follow his example, and in so doing they will learn what it means to imitate Christ. While this may seem bold on the one hand, on the other it teaches us a profound lesson about the nature of discipleship: many times we need the wisdom and example of other mature Christians who can teach us how to faithfully imitate Christ.

Are there areas in your life where you have seen the renovating work of the Spirit move in such profound ways that you could be bold enough to encourage others to look to your example and do likewise, knowing that you aren’t elevating yourself but are helping them deepen their walk with Christ? Likewise, are there areas of your life that you know need to still look more like Christ? Would your discipleship journey be blessed to have someone encourage you in this area by their own example of faithfulness to Jesus and his call on their lives?

If you want to be a genuine imitator of Christ and never settle for a cheap imitation, don’t shy away from the gifts God has given to conform you more and more into his likeness. The example of other faithful men and women in your life is one of the greatest gifts God has given to encourage you as a disciple. When we as Christians can humble ourselves and learn from one another, we learn what it means to be true imitators of Christ!



Father, by the work of your Spirit in our lives, give us the grace to be true imitators of Christ who are being daily remade and restored into his likeness.


Think of someone you know and respect for their faithfulness to Christ and consider intentional steps you can take in order to learn from their example.

Related Reading

Ephesians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; Hebrews 6:12

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  1. Wudaba Nenrot says:

    Imitation involves a carefull observation,precise study of the act or action of his mentor but the imitator may not fully understand the intent of his mentor. I am a fashion designer i learned how to sew male suits years back,recently i tried to improve on the quality of production i learn online about quality suit production,i discovered my suit production was a cheap imitation due to the fact that we lack quality materials needed for suit making here,eg pattern,canverse,linen etc and practical process on how to fix them for a perfect finish.

  2. Gwynne says:

    Dear Wudaba,
    Thank you for your thought provoking comments after reading “Be an Imitator”. The pratical application in your everyday life skills was an effective reminder of the process of imitation. You are right in your statement: “Imitation involves a careful observation, precise study of the act or action of his mentor but the imitator may not fully understand the intent of his mentor”. All the more reason to pray for discernment and courage as we go through our faith journey.
    Tripp reminded us in “Be an Imitator” that “If you want to be a genuine imitator of Christ and never settle for a cheap imitation, don’t shy away from the gifts God has given to conform you more and more into his likeness”.
    Again, we thank you for your real-life example of imitation and we hope that your fashion designing business will be blessed.
    Grateful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter,
    “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

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