Imitating Christ—Becoming the Image of Christ to Others
If we are to be true to our calling as the children of God, we must live in imitation of Christ. We must imitate His meekness and humility. We must love others just as did He. We must be willing to be transformed, and made whole, that others might see in us the Light of Christ.
Each and every hour must be closely scrutinized so that we make sure the Image of the Saviour shines forth as we interact with others. If we find ourselves growing angry toward a family member, or a coworker, we must sincerely repent at that very moment, and with Christ’s help, turn ourselves around. In our journey to God, time must not be wasted, for we never know the day or hour when we will be held accountable.
Tomorrow is never early enough, for the day of our repentance must be today! Tomorrow cannot be the day we start treating others with love, for tomorrow may never come. If we see another person abused, now is the time to act. If we see an old woman needing help paying for her groceries, now is the time to reach into our own pocketbook. If we see a woman being abused by her boyfriend, now is the time to speak out on her behalf, or to call the police.
If a homeless person approaches us for help, we must not refuse to give him at least a dollar and a kind word of encouragement. If a clerk is rude to us, a smile must be our only response. If, returning to our car, we see a parking enforcement officer writing a ticket, we must receive it with a smile. If a police officer has pulled us over for speeding, we must thank him for doing his job to keep us all safe.
If a neighbor is speaking unkind words about another neighbor, we must not remain silent, lest our silence be interpreted as agreement and their own day of repentance be avoided. If a stranger is in need of a word of encouragement, we must not let our own needs be a deterrent to our becoming a vehicle of the mercy of Christ.
Church services, personal prayer, and fasting are all required components of the Christian life but are never enough if we wish to be saved. We must see ourselves as “our brother’s keeper,” for if we do not love our neighbor, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God. As daunting as this all may sound, it is never impossible, for we have the help of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can ignite our soul for love of God, and the love of neighbor, but we must cooperate by working to make our hearts open to Christ.
Christianity is not meant to be an easy path, for how can anyone hear the words of Our Saviour, requiring that we love even our enemies, and not know how hard this journey will be? Yet if we take up our cross hourly, we will have victory over our fallen nature, and we will be given the power to love everyone, even as we love ourselves, and the love of God will grow stronger in our own heart, ever remembering the words of scripture, “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).