Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. (3 John 11)
She was dressed for the part. Her clothing, wig, and accessories matched the picture. The script, written by her mother-in-law, had been memorized. The audience was seated out front and the act before hers was ending. It was time.
The introduction signaled her entrance onto the stage for the amateur talent contest. Imitating the female comedian, Phyllis Diller, my mom spent the next ten minutes as “Dillis Phyller,” telling jokes to members of the local community. I sat in the audience stunned by how much mom looked and acted like Diller. I was surprised by her transformation, then proud, as I watched the audience laugh at her jokes. Mom was no longer Mom, she was “Dillis Phyller.”
God’s Word is filled with stories about people, evil and good. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image.” In 1 Corinthians 4:16, Paul wrote, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me,” to follow his example as he followed the example of Christ.
We must decide who we wish to imitate and how—as well as who we don’t want to imitate and why. Watch people. Do their actions match their words? Are they truly who they say they are? Ultimately, we must study Jesus to learn how to reflect God’s image and not just imitate him, but be transformed, inviting others to become transformed as well.
Imitate Jesus and be made new.
Janelle Vernon serves The Wesleyan Church as executive director of Communication and Administration, general secretary, and publisher for Wesleyan Publishing House.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.