“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1
If you have ever had small children, or been around some for very long, you will find out that they love to imitate the adults around them. Their parents can tell them to do one thing, but they’re going to actually do what they see their parents do! They will become like whoever they spend the most time with.
In Ephesians, we are urged to imitate God. How do we go about that? I like to think of the example of comedians who make their living doing impressions of politicians and other celebrities. They don’t just get up one day and decide they’re going to “play” the President. It takes months, and sometimes years, of careful study. The best impressionists note every nuance of their subject’s personality, their facial expressions, and their intonations. The more time they spend studying their subject, the more convincing the impression is.
If we are to imitate God, we must spend time with Him. We must study His character as revealed through His word. We must spend time talking with Him in prayer, and letting Him speak to us. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to discern just what actions God would have us to take in a particular situation. Just like a child, or those comedians, the more time we spend with Him, the more we will begin to look and act like Him.
Study. Pray. Meditate on the word. It’s the same mantra we hear over and over, but it’s the only way that we, as imperfect humans, will begin to take on the image of a perfect God. It’s vital that we are diligent, because we may be the only “imitator” of Him that those around us will ever see.