Imitators of Christ
Hebrews 13:7, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”
It has been a great few weeks to watch a lot of NFL football. One thing I have noticed is the way that kids in general, and my own kids especially, desire to imitate their favorite player. They watch the game wearing the jersey of their favorite players. After the game, they are often in the front yard trying to throw and catch the football exactly like their favorite players on TV. Kids have a deep desire to imitate what they see around them.
The author of Hebrews has an interesting invitation for us. He calls us to reflect and remember our leaders, but he adds an important detail; to imitate their faith. But this isn’t a stand-alone passage. The apostle Paul says a similar thing, but in an even more personal way.
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 11:1.
Paul was not bloated with over confidence in his own perfection. He actually had a clear picture of his own fallenness. In the same letter, he says that he is the least of all the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:9). So Paul wasn’t inviting them to imitate him because he thought he was perfect, but because he had faith in the One who is perfect.
It is a great encouragement for us even today. We too would likely benefit from finding someone whose faith we admire and learn from them. In the end, our faith may very well be encouraged and grown by watching their faith in action. So study faithful leaders, as the author of Hebrews reminds us consider the outcome of their life. Find someone’s faith and life you admire and learn from them. Don’t mistake faithfulness with flawlessness. But even in the midst of imperfect people, we can often see a powerful God at work.