Tuesday, 7 December 2010


I have been thinking a bit about imitation. We are told to "be imitators of God" (Eph 5:1), 1 Thess 1:6 goes further encouraging imitation of Paul, Silas & Timothy as well as the Lord. 1 Thess 2:14 commends the Thessalonica church for imitating the church in Judea. Paul urges the Corinthians (1 Cor 4:16) to imitate him and in Hebrews there is encouragement to imitate the faith of others (6:12 & 13:7).

We are to have an UPWARD imitation of God - if you look at Ephesians 5 we are to engage in imitation as 'dearly loved children', living 'a life of love', a sacrificial life like Jesus. If we are imitators of God the giving of our lives will be evident. I have seen many different church environments over many years and the ones that are missional, and have a transforming effect on the world around them have in common sacrificial living in one form or another. The readiness to keep dieing for the sake of the gospel.

We are to have an INWARD imitation of other churches. 1 Thess 2:14 makes the link, in reference, to sharing in the same kind of sufferings between the churches of Judea and Thessalonica. We are to stand together, seeking to continue to hold firm to the gospel of salvation. I know that for Kairos imitating other churches will mean mutual support and learning from others on a similar journey to us. 

We are to have an OUTWARD imitation of the faith of others, those who have "inherited what has been promised" Hebrews 6:12. I know that as I hang around with people of faith, who have demonstrated the things of faith in their lives, I become increasingly effective as a person of faith. 

It seems to me that I have a choice.... to imitate or to vegetate. Imitation implies sacrifice that leads to fruitfulness, alignment that leads to mutual blessing and learning from others that leads to kingdom effectiveness. Vegetation comes when I am not prepared to lay down my life, align myself with other Christians and learn from anybody but myself.

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