I have three children. Each of them has my DNA. They have inherited certain things from me. When each of them was born, people would try to figure who they looked like, me or their mother. "Oh, he has your nose," or "Look, she has her mother's ears." This always irritated me a bit - why couldn't they just be who they were, having their own noses and ears? Why did they have to have mine?
Another thing that irritated me was when some would say "There's no denying him, he is definitely yours!" Did they think I was wanting to deny my own children? Whatever, back to the point. The thing is, because my children have my DNA, they automatically assume similarities to me.
Check out 1 Corinthians 4:16 - "I urge you then, be imitators of me." Paul, the one sent by God to preach the message of Jesus Christ, is writing this letter to the Christians in Corinth. He is in the middle of telling them how far off track they are in their Christianity. And he follows that up with "be imitators of me." In order to understand what Paul means, we have to make a distinction. Paul doesn't want the Corinthians to become carbon copies of himself. He doesn't ask them to duplicate himself. He says "imitate me." In other words, take my DNA, learn from me, and act like me. You be you, but live as I live, love as I love, and serve as I serve.
I can't expect my kids to become carbon copies of me. (What a scary world this would be if they did!) I do know that their behavior is learned from watching me. Some of their personality traits are inherited from me (like my good looks and great sense of humor, for example). I must strive to be a model for my children to follow. Paul was a model for his spiritual children, the Christians at Corinth.
Why was Paul a good model to follow? Because Paul was imitating Jesus Christ. Paul's life goal was to become like Jesus Christ. And so should our's be! Everyday we should be striving to be more like our Lord and Savior - Jesus Christ.
Are you imitating Christ? Follow Him, learn from Him, and live like Him.