By Amy Meyer Allen
"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Ephesians 5:1-2, The Message
In our world, there are many imitators, but few true leaders. Kids, even adults, want to "be somebody" so they follow the most prominent example they see: Hollywood stars, pro athletes, singers, etc. But unless these people are following a greater example themselves, they are doomed to fail and disappoint us someday. Those of us watching and imitating may go right along with them.
For example, just a few months shy of my 30th birthday, my world came crashing down around me when my husband, one of the people I had looked up to and followed as an example, betrayed me. His betrayal shook my whole world. Until it happened I hadn't realized I had put him on a pedestal and was following his lead in regards to how I lived my life. It has been said that true character is revealed by what someone does even when no one is watching. I discovered he was leading a double life. Suddenly, I had no desire to be anywhere near him, let alone follow him.
Thankfully during that devastating time in my life, God stepped in and showed me His character through His Word. Over time, as I learned more about Him, I realized that He is the one I should be following, imitating, because His character is perfect. His love is perfect; so is His peace, His joy, and His compassion.
The Bible is full of examples of Jesus' character and how He lived:
He always sought to do God's will and not His own. (Luke 22:42)
He did the work His Father gave Him to do. (John 17:4)
He found time to be alone with God and pray. (Matthew 14:23)
He used God's Word as His authority and offensive weapon. (Matthew 4:1-11)
He loved unconditionally. (Mark 10:21)
He gave everything He had. (John 19:30)
He didn't retaliate, threaten, or seek His own justice. (1 Peter 2:23)
He was humble, obedient and made Himself a servant. (Philippians 2:5-8)
By imitating Jesus and not people, God changed my character. He did the same for my husband. Over time we have learned to love each other sacrificially, just as Jesus does with us.
I want to follow Jesus and let Him change me from the inside out to be more like Him. I'm tired of imitating people who are just fellow sinners like me. I want to set my sights high and strive to be more like the One who created me!
Father, help me to look to Jesus as my example. Show me my sin and areas of my life and character that need improvement. Help me imitate You.
Copyright © 2013, Amy Meyer Allen, used by permission.
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Amy Meyer Allen's most recent children's book, Humble Heart: a Book of Virtues has been published by Tyndale House Publishers. Her passion is to share how God's powerful Word can transform lives. Amy and her husband, Tim, have testified on The 700 Club to how God redeemed their lives and marriage. Amy also contributes to a spiritual life blog on CBN.com. Find Amy's artwork on www.humblebumbles.com and Amy and Tim's marriage testimony on www.aredeemedmarriage.com.
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