My little boy Hudson is a copying machine. He copies everything I do. He’s recently started being really interested in coffee (which is great!) and in my morning routine. He now brushes his teeth with me, watches me shave (what little facial hair I have) and talks with me.
Yesterday I found Hudson in our bathroom and told him it was time to go to a friend’s. He said “One minute Daddy”. And then he got out my deodorant and put it on.
He is copying everything I am doing, and in fact I really like it. Knowing that he is watching makes me want to live better. I hope my life is worth imitating.
This is something that Paul gets at. He actually says, “imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). What I realized is that my life needs to be worth imitating. My life needs to be so Christ-like that when Hudson starts to act like me, he is actually acting like Jesus.
Reading that verse made me reflect on whether or not my life was sufficiently Christ-like. Because it is so easy to tell people to follow Jesus without giving them an example. The much harder path of discipleship is to tell people to imitate ourselves, as we imitate Christ. To say, “If you want to know what following Jesus looks like, watch me.” And while this way of teaching is the hardest, because it requires the most congruence, it is also how people learn best. I know this because I see it in Hudson all the time. He learns best through watching, and following. I hope that through watching and following me, he is not only learning to shave, but to follow Christ. My hope is that he isn’t just picking up on my quirks but my Lord.
So I want to end with one question. Can you say to your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers like Paul – “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” Is your lifestyle worth following or worth imitating? And if not, what do you need to change so that you can say that? Because people learn best by watching and following, and the world needs to know not only about Jesus but to see the example of Jesus through our lives.
So what are people seeing in your life?
My hope is that when Hudson watches and follows me, he isn’t just following his dad, but also his Savior. That’s my hope for my little boy, and it’s the hope of my life. That my life points people to someone greater than just me, that it points people to Jesus.