Worthy of imitation?

After a quick transition to a new job in a new state with a new company along with plans to eventually move overseas, this last month has given me a lot to look forward to, and it has also inspired me to pause and reflect. Today’s reading is on Philippians 3 and this verse stood out in particular in reflection of the spiritual mentors/influencers in my life:

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (Philippians 3:17)

Since I was a kid, my mom prayed for me to have friends, mentors, guides and role models influencing my spiritual journey in a positive way. As a result, whenever this prayer is answered, I praise God for what he’s done and thank him for my mom and her countless prayers and dedication.

Many of us have people we look up to or consider heroes in this life. I’m a sports fan, not a fanatic, so while I respect and admire those at the top – I don’t really follow these people and I’d never consider purchasing a jersey with someone else’s name on it. Famous actors/actresses, and even musicians are not that exciting to me… I’ll enjoy the contributions to the arts, but I won’t seek to imitate or follow these folks closely, if at all.

Those who do inspire me are the strong, bold, influential, successful, yet humble and self-aware leaders who live out their faith both outside and inside the workplace. The ones whose priorities are in the right order and encourage/support others to prioritize the same; loving God and loving people. My friend Duane exemplifies all of these attributes and is worthy of imitation through his imitation and submission to Jesus Christ. While I’ve tried to verbally share with him the impact he’s had on my life, he certainly doesn’t know the depth. Thank you Duane!

I challenge our readers to consider the following by thinking of those who have influenced your spiritual journey for the better:

  1. There are people observing our behavior and we likely have far more influence than we realize. What can or should we do about this? Are we living a life worthy of our calling?
  2. Who are the most spiritually influential people in your life? Have you thanked them properly? Do they have any idea how much they mean to you or of the fruitful results of their actions?
  3. What are the behaviors (known or unknown to others) that should not be imitated and are we seeking repentance? Can we, like Paul suggest that people imitate us?

Father God, thank you for putting people in our lives who pray for us, who lead by example and who boldly proclaim the gospel of salvation through your son Jesus. May our eyes be opened and affixed firmly on you to recognize your work, your plans, your will, and your ways. We repent for acting as though our ways are better. Give us the courage like Paul states (in Philippians 3:14) to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Amen.