I love how this sweet toddler places his hands exactly as the cat places his paws! Being around my grandsons reminds me just how often we learn by imitating those around us. It is almost scarey how much little ones pick up mannerisms and speech patterns from whoever is in their lives. So much of imitating others is unintentional. One would think that as adults we were more discerning about what we imitate but that is not the case. Slowly but surely, as I adapt to another culture, I find myself imitating styles and colloquial expressions.
Our verse today is a gentle warning from John to his friend, Gaius. It is sandwiched between an observation he makes of two men; one to imitate (Demetrius) and one who should not be imitated (Diotrephes). The one has a good reputation, while the other is full of pride, wanting to be first and refusing to welcome other believers. John is pointing out how one’s behavior can reveal the heart. Rather than imitate a leader because of his smooth speech and polished image, we are to imitate those who truly practice what is preached!
It is important to be intentional about the friends I choose, as my tendency to imitate others is so strong. Prov. 12:26 says that the righteous choose their friends carefully. I want to surround myself with those who challenge me to live a more godly life. And I want to be that kind of influence for others too!
Lord, keep me imitating all that is good in those that truly know You!