<<copy, try to be like>>

“Do as I have done for you” was Jesus’ instruction to His followers (Jn 13:15). Christ lives in us, and we are to radiate out His qualities to those around us, having the same attitude as Christ who became a servant (Mt 5:14-16; Gal 2:20; Phil 2:5-8). We should follow in His steps, and not retaliate or become defensive when attacked, instead leaving the situation in God’s hands (1 Pet 2:21-23).

Paul said, we have made ourselves a model for you to follow, based on the example of Christ, “Whatever you have heard, received, learnt or seen in me put into practice” (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1; Phil 4:9; 2 Thes 3:9). To truthfully make such a statement Paul was continually living in vital union with Christ. Endeavour to become in your character and lifestyle what is attractive and desirable for others to want to follow (1 Tim 4:12).

Others are watching and observing us, and unconsciously we take on the good or bad qualities of those we associate with. Children, especially, will copy the habits of their parents so be good role models for them.

Disciples are followers devoted to learning from their master, the mentor. Jesus, provided a Master Class in discipling by expressing the character of God and encouraging His followers to develop a genuine faith. Discipling is still an important aspect of church life and requires transparent interaction and positive input as investment is made into the

 Be followers of me as I am of Christ            – 1 Corinthians 11:1

lives of others who in turn are able to be role models for further individuals embracing Christianity (1 Thes 1:6; 2 Tim 2:2).

We can’t be a carbon copy of another, nor should we follow blindly, but only as far as they remain true to the Scriptures. Notice the desirable qualities in others and try to replicate these, while eliminating those that are destructive and you are aware of in your life. Try to be like those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised (Heb 6:12, 13:7). 

The Israelites were instructed not to imitate the evil ways of other nations who were around them (Deut 18:9). So much of the worldly culture today is also detestable in God’s eyes. The Bible says, don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould, “Do not imitate what is evil but what is good” (Rom12:1,2; 3 Jn 1:11).

See also: disciple/discipleship, example, follow/follower, learning, mentor, role model.