I urge you to imitate me. - 1 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT)
It was late afternoon when Cindy finished her school work and headed outside to play with her sister. As usual, she found her in the tree house in the backyard and as always, she was mumbling on about something. “Mindy,” Cindy called out to her, “Do you want to play?” But all Mindy could say in response was “Oooooooh, Aaaaaaah. I think I am in love.”
“Mindy,” Cindy called again, “Do you want to play?” And this time Mindy responded with an “Aaaaaaah. Mr. Klinker Klunker .I would gladly go with you.” and an “Oooooooh, I thought you would never ask.” “What?” Cindy replied, “Who are you talking too?” But Mindy never heard her.
“Me? Be Mrs. Klinker Klunker? You’re so wonderful!” MIndy called out a little but later. After hearing that, Cindy decided her sister needed to be brought back to real life. “Who is Mr. Klinker Klunker?” “My hero.” replied Mindy with a dreamy look on her face.
“You have a crush on someone, don’t you?” Cindy asked her sister. “Oh, I would do anything for him.” Mindy replied. “Anything?” quizzed Cindy. “And someday I want to be just like him and star in my own movie.” Mindy continued. “Mr. Klunker is a movie star?” Cindy asked. “Heavenly, isn’t it.”Mindy said, still looking dreamy.
“What kind of movies does he star in?” Cindy asked but Mindy didn’t know all she said was “I’ve never seen one. Mom and Dad won’t let me watch R rated movies” “R rated!” exclaimed Cindy. “Yeah, Mom says it’s because he’s indecent, and Dad says his language is terrible.” Than how do you know who he even is?” Cindy wondered out loud.
“I saw him on a talk show once and he was Sooooooo handsome,” Mindy replied, “I liked the way he tore down all those people on the show and the way he hit that one guy shows how strong he is.” “Mindy,” Cindy replied, “You know we’re not suppose to have ungodly heros. Mr, Klinker is nothing but a klunker, just like Dad’s old car.”
“What does God have to do with it?” asked Mindy. “Everything.” answered Cindy. “I was just reading about it this morning in the Bible. It says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. We need to be sure to imitate godly people instead of the Klinker Klunkers in our life.”
“You sure know how to spoil a good time.” Mindy said as she climbed down from the tree house. “I’ll see you later.”
Have you ever had a klunker for a hero? Have you ever said when I grow up I want to be just like ..... ? Sometimes we lift up everyday people to hero status which is not always a bad thing but sometimes we lift up the wrong people or lift them up to far as happened to Paul - the one who wrote 1 Corinthians 11:1 and a few other versus.
Paul and Barnabas were on a missionary journey and had entered into Lystra to do some preaching. One day they met a man who had been crippled from birth and as a result had never walked. Lets pick the story up in Acts 14:8 and see what happened.
As this man was listening to Paul speak, Paul looked straight at him and saw that he believed God could heal him. So he cried out, “Stand up on your feet!“ The man jumped up and began walking around. When the crowds saw what Paul did, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like humans and have come down to us!“ Then the people began to call Barnabas “Zeus“ and Paul “Hermes,“ because he was the main speaker. The priest in the temple of Zeus, which was near the city, brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. He and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas. But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard about it, they tore their clothes. They ran in among the people, shouting, “Friends, why are you doing these things? We are only human beings like you. We are bringing you the Good News and are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the living God. He is the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. In the past, God let all the nations do what they wanted. Yet he proved he is real by showing kindness, by giving you rain from heaven and crops at the right times, by giving you food and filling your hearts with joy.“ Even with these words, they were barely able to keep the crowd from offering sacrifices to them. - Acts 14:9-18 (NCV)
Writing to those in Corinth Paul says in1 Corinthians 4:14-16 - I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me. (NLT) While Paul and Barnabas were definitely looked up to after they healed the crippled man and while that's not a bad thing, the people of Lystra went to far and lifted Paul and Barnabas to god status.
When one looks at the first couple commandments in the Ten Commandments we are reminded that there is to be one God and we are not to lift another to that status or be god ourself. - Exodus 20:1-6 - Then God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves. “You must not have any other gods except me. “You must not make for yourselves an idol that looks like anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the water below the land. You must not worship or serve any idol, because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. If you hate me, I will punish your children, and even your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But I show kindness to thousands who love me and obey my commands. (NCV)
When we raise up people to be our hero - not god status - so that we might follow their examples - let us do so because they are ultimately imitators of Christ as Paul mentions as a reason for imitating him. Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.- 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NAS)
Here's Something To Ponder
- What kind of people are you imitating - are they Christ like?
- What kind of example are you to others - are you Christ like?