Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | March 1, 2021

Imitating Faith versus Imitating People

“Remember your leaders those who spoke to you the Word of God.  Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”  Hebrews 13:7 (ESV)

Pre-video game era, I remember playing Simons Says with my son.  Worked great on long trips and breaks at rest stops.  Occupied little minds challenged with boredom.  And usually in those first few moments it was easy to do what Simon Says until we started imitating versus listening.  As the command to jump with our right leg was issued, we caved into whatever leg Simon was jumping on.  Laughter would always fill the air as we saw our mistake and tried even harder the next time.  But some how we’d proverbially end up doing what Simon was doing versus doing what he said.

Ever so easy to fall into this trap; we still do it today.  When leaders or peers are doing something, we follow suit and slide right along with them regardless of the outcome.  Reality is we have to face the music for our own decisions even if we were simply imitating someone else.

Absolutely love this caution in the book of Hebrews to not imitate others but rather imitate their faith. Wonder how we get that one so wrong?  Perhaps we skip over to the end of this verse without caution to the words coming before it.  We copy what others are doing, we mimic them and even resemble their choices without careful observation.

God never intended for us to be reflectors of man but rather to be imitators of Him (Ephesians 5:1).  If we want to ensure we are getting this right then let’s ask ourselves some questions:

Who are we are listening to?  Not everyone is speaking truth, and the only way we will know the truth is to know God’s word for ourselves. Main reason why we need to guard who is speaking into our lives.

What is the outcome of their way of life?  Thought provoking question here….what does their life reflect?  Does it match what they say and claim to believe?  There should be no disconnect between what one speaks and one lives – no judgment or perfectionism here just plain blameless living.

Are we imitating people or are we imitating their faith?  Scripture is filled with men and women of faith.  Incredible stories of how God worked in their lives – Hebrews 12 is often referred to as the Hall of Fame of Faith.  When we choose to imitate faith versus the person, we are focused on the outcome of God’s truth exemplified in their lives.  We are encouraged and challenged in our faith rather than idolizing or imitating a person.

Following, copying and imitating often comes naturally so if this is our tendency then we would be wise to heed the wisdom of Hebrews 13.  Remember those who speak God’s truth. Consider their testimony and then imitate their faith as they follow God.

“Father, we can get so lost in following people versus following You.  Help us to be strengthened through the faith journey of others and lean into Your truth as we reflect You to our world.”

For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life


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