October 14, 2011

Imitating Faith

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.
Consider the outcome of their way of life
and imitate their faith."
Hebrews 13:7

As I watched this morning's news program on the latest trends sweeping the country, Hebrews 13:7 immediately popped into mind. Seems like every eye is set on monitoring and mimicking whatever the royals and movie, television, or reality stars are wearing. It takes but a tiny spark for a fad to blaze into every closet of this continent and beyond. Whether it's dresses, shoes, hair styles, make-up, jewelry, or the subtle hue of fingernail polish, millions of women monitor the higher ups with a fine tooth comb, seeking to copy and paste the rich and famous trademark into their own lives. Truth is everyone wants to be the cat's meow, fashion and style is just one way to accomplish it.

Interestingly enough, like this mornings style segment, Hebrews 13:7 teaches us to watch and reproduce what others do too, Christians are just called to emulate faith not fashion.

Recently, when reading this verse, I noticed for the first time an element I'd never noticed before, our mission to imitate a mature believer's faith, not their style, personality, or personal preferences. I think in the past I've crossed this boundary, and how easy it is to subtly shift from admiring a godly leader to emulate the person themselves, dropping God from the point of focus. My oh my how this grieves the Spirit of the Holy One.

So how do we keep God on the throne of our hearts according to Hebrews 13:7?
  • "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you." - Choose your leaders (those you learn the Word of God from) very carefully. Compare their teaching with the Bible, if it varies beware. Stick with the fundamentals, The Holy Trinity (God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit; three in one), Jesus is the only way to the Father, and Jesus was sinless and born of a virgin. Make these your cornerstone and you'll grow well in the knowledge of God. (Note: this list is not all-inclusive. There are more key fundamentals.)
  • "Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." -Observe the behavior of faith in those who have gone before us. This includes Godly men and women of the Bible (see Hebrews 11, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, etc.) as well as Godly men and women of today. As we consider their faith and how they lived it out, determine to implement this same faith in your own life.

    Remember, it is only by faith that we can please God. As we persevere in faith and revere God, we model a faith worthy of imitating.


Who or what are your eyes on today? Is it temporal or eternal?

What attributes are you copying and pasting into your life?

Who is watching and imitating you? Think outside the box. More are observing than you might think.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Today, I've been very aware of how my children are watching me. We spent a lot of time outdoors, painting crafts/signs for our church's fall festival. And while normally I nap on Sunday afternoons, today I embraced this outdoor activity with my kids. My daughter commented about how this had been the best day ever... doing something together as a family. And while it made me smile, it also made me sad to think of all the missed occasions when I wasn't feeling well enough or when I was simply "too busy" to step outside my priorities and give more to them.

I want to be a faithful mother; and while others may be watching me, my kids' eyes are the most important ones to me.

Great post, Nancy. Love your faith-filled, faithful heart. You're a blessing.


Cheryl Barker said...

I think I remember that in at least one of his letters, Paul urged his readers to imitate him. (Can't recall the reference now, but I'm pretty sure he did this). Makes you stop and think, doesn't it? Could we do the same? Wow. A good reminder, Nancy, that others are always watching us...