Follow God's example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father. Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ's love for you was like sweet perfume to him. Ephesians 5L1-2 (TLB)
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you. Romans 12:2 (TLB)
Montra C. Weaver is from Texas. The alarm of a nearby water system woke him up. After several minutes, he heard a mockingbird copying the beeping sound. Montra smiled a the bird who was copying not another bird's song but a noise from a machine made by humans.
Then Montra thought about what he copies. How often does he, as a child of God, imitate humanity's was rather than God's way? His amusement faded as he realized that just that week, he had imitated the habits of the world more than once. He was quick to judge a woman's character based on her clothing. He held a conversation questioning the motives behind someone's acts of service. His TV shows, reading, and music that week had not portrayed godly values.
In today's reading, Paul encourages us to imitate God's love. But too often, rather than looking on others with the kind of love God shows Montra, he thinks and acts out of habits and judgments that he has learned from the world around him.
Maybe that is why Paul says that we should follow Christ's example of a life filled with sacrificial love. As we seek to imitate Christ, God can transform our attitudes so that we can grow and act in ways that match God's will for us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the example of Christ's sacrificial love. Help us to imitate his love in our attitudes and actions, in Jesus' name. Amen.