by Leticia Martinez
As children grow up, they mimic their parents. A son’s words are learned by his mother repeating the syllables a hundred times. A daughter takes giant steps to match the strides of her father. Children learn how to live by the examples given by their parents. It is said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. People represent those who are important to them by being like them through their walk and talk.
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he states his anticipation to see Timothy again so that he could be filled with joy “when I [Paul] call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you [Timothy], which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also“ (1:5). Later on, Paul warns Timothy of “evil men” and “impostors” that will deceive the church (2Timothy 3:13) and he admonishes Timothy that he “must continue in the things which you [Timothy] have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which were able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus“ (2Timothy 3:14-15). Here we see family is a strong influence. More so, being raised well in the scriptures has a tremendous impact on a child’s eternal destiny. We can see the wise words of Proverbs coming to fruition in the life of Timothy: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
We must evaluate ourselves and ask, who are we imitating? Can we confidently say we follow Jesus? If not, are we willing to correct ourselves and “walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6)? We need to arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ (1 Peter 4:1-2), so that we will be perfect, just as our Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Jesus followed the will of God and not His own (John 6:38). He put His life in the hands of His Father, solely depending on Him, just like a child would. His faith in the will of His Father was kept to the point of His own death on the cross. We must be imitators of our Father in Heaven. As dear children, we must walk in love (Ephesians 5:1-2). Jesus showed us God the Father through Himself. Likewise, let us imitate Jesus, so that others will know of Him, and ultimately God, through the conduct of our lives.
“For this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21)