“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.” Eph 5:1
What comes before the “therefore?” Paul is telling the Ephesians to take off the “old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires” and “put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.” When we accept Christ as our savior we trade our sin for new life, a new identity in Him.
I’m embarrassed to admit it now, but when I was a teenager, I had a fake ID. It took me places I wasn’t old enough to go and into situations I wasn’t mature enough to handle. I pretended to be someone else. Someone else who had privileges that I did not.
Being someone else is hard work. I practiced saying my fake name over and over again until it sounded natural. Brooke Jones was a little short than I, so I wore flats and slouched my shoulders. She was a little wider than I, so I wore baggy clothes to cover my frame. She was a senior in college. How much did a 16 year old really know about college? I’m sure my stories were all believable.
Luckily, I made it through my years of disguise without great harm. Today I live an exhilarating life and find it interesting that my greatest adventures and most thrilling moments occur in places where no ID is required.
I’m so glad those days are over. But Are they?
Even as an adult I find myself tempted to reflect the world around me. I know my true ID in Christ, but sometimes it’s just easier to go along with the crowd. Even with a pure heart we are instructed “do not imitate what is evil but what is good.” Worse than that, like the Ephesians, I put on my old self which desires for self-gratification, self-promotion and all their shameful friends. I would have to pretend to be stronger than I am to fight those giants alone. So, I don’t.
The key to your true ID in Christ is….s u r r e n d e r.
He who lives in me is greater than he who lives in the world. So I give it over to him daily and sometimes hourly. He reminds me “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
Who do you want to be like? Are they smarter, thinner, stronger, wealthier, more attractive, or more successful than you? What is it in this world you desire to possess? What experiences are you seeking to fill the void in your soul? There is only one unfailing love, one perfect person, one perfect plan for your life. And only one way to get it – complete surrender to Jesus Christ.
You will have to let go of the life you thought you needed to find true life through your true ID in King of kings. The new self in Christ inherits the Kingdom of God and all the privileges that come with it. He will take you places you could never go on your own.
Who are you imitating?
Am I the only one who tried to grow up too fast?
Tell me your story.