As Tim has gotten older he has entered a phase where he wants to be just like me. This has become most clear in the way he wants and tries to imitate what I am doing. It doesn’t really matter what I’m doing - if I’m drinking coffee, he wants a cup; if I’m brushing my teeth, he wants his toothbrush.
This all started happening around the same time that I was planning my lessons for a class I was to teach to junior high kids on holiness at Delanco Camp. As all these thoughts were going on together I realized that the same thing should be true in our Christian lives. Since we have been brought into the family of God, He is our Father and as His children we have the privilege of imitating Him and even to become like Him.
So how does this happen? Just like it does for me and Tim, by imitating what He does. The first thing we need to do then, is to look for what God is doing and where He is working and then joining Him there. This can take many forms from partnering with missionaries as they head to the field to serving at the local food pantry; anywhere you are working with the lost you are imitating God (Mark 2:17).
But doing things by itself will never make us like God anymore than doing the things a dog does will make us a dog. We need God to give us His character if we are really going to be like Him and serving other only one avenue that God uses to impart His grace to us. We must do what He does, but we must also spend time getting to know who He is and letting Him shape us. It is only then that we can truly be imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1), holy and loving.
We were made in the image of God to be like Him and through the person and work of Jesus Christ we are invited and enabled to imitate God in the power of the Spirit. What we do flows out of who we are, but who we are is also shaped by what we do.