In dealing with the Corinthian church, Paul had some advice for them. They were basically a church full of immature believers. They had been Christians for years but had never grown up.
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.
1 Corinthians 11:1-2
The phrase, follow my example is actually a Greek word that means to imitate me. It’s the word from which we get the word mimic in English. Paul was instructing these believers to imitate his lifestyle in the same way that he was imitating Christ.
The apostle had lived among them for months when he was starting their church. They saw how he lived and worked. Now they needed to walk before God in that same way.
In the above passage, Paul commends them for remembering his teaching and the things he told them to do. That’s great. But simply remembering what you’re taught is not enough. At some point, you need to start putting it into practice.
The fact is that we can’t watch Jesus living His life. We can only see the godly leaders that the Lord has placed before us right now. Imitation is the first step down the road to maturity.
The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us the same thing.
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
This verse gives us a little more detail about who we need to be imitating. The problem is that just because someone holds a position of leadership, doesn’t mean that they’re worthy of being imitated.
The real question is; do you see the fruit of Christ’s ministry at work in them? They should be walking in love and the blessing of God must be evident in their ministry.
The real challenge is the walk of faith and patience. Sometimes imitating Christ isn’t evident in someone’s life. They seem to be doing the same thing every day. You don’t realize the significance until you see the outcome of what they’ve done.
It’s those who have a track record of spiritual fruit that we need to imitate. Anyone can be an overnight success that’s here today and gone tomorrow.
In order to have a sustained ministry of fruitfulness, it requires a different kind of walk. There needs to be a consistent degree of faith in God. But more than that – faith must be held with perseverance.
If you want your maturity to grow, then you need to seek out those who are walking in a mature lifestyle. Then, follow their example and apply their principles to your life.
Question: Who do you know that you can imitate their walk of maturity?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi