“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesian 5:1
This verse is the only one in the entire Bible that tells anyone to imitate God.
That statement might seem like it can’t be true. It felt that way when I first read it, and yet it is. It speaks to the uniqueness, beauty, greatness, goodness, graciousness, and holiness of God. To attempt to imitate Him is like me attempting to dunk like Vince Carter, but more absurd, because though I’m 5’10” with about an 8-inch vertical leap, at least he and I are both human.
So, if it’s so impossible, so absurd to imitate God, why are we told to imitate Him in Ephesians 5:1? The answer arrives in the second half of the verse. We can imitate God because we are His beloved children. Ephesians 1:5 told us we were adopted into His holy family, and by His grace and power at work in our lives, we have begun to take on the family traits.
As we learn of His ways by reading His Word, reflecting on Jesus, reaching out to Him in prayer and living in Christian community, we begin to not only develop a desire to be like Him, but we begin to experience the power to imitate Him through the Spirit that is at work in us. As the Spirit changes us to act like God, that change, like our salvation, works to His glory as he does a miracle that is far beyond us.
God, give me the desire to be like You. Teach me my own limitations, as I reflect on the much better example of Christ and may the growing awareness of my limitations push me to walk in Your Spirit. Amen.