"To be in Christ, is to live in his ideas, character, spirit, as the atmosphere of being. Men everywhere are living in the ideas and characters of others. He who lives in the spirit of Raphael, becomes a painter; he who lives in the spirit of Milton, becomes a poet; he who lives in the spirit of Bacon, becomes a philosopher; he who lives in the spirit of Caesar, becomes a warrior; he who lives in the spirit of Christ, becomes a man."
"I urge you, then, be imitators of me." -I Corinthians 4:16
Although the first quote shows age, the concept is still very real and applies to everyone today. We can take those examples above and add in our own imitations; Hollywood, culture, "The American Dream", "The Joneses", money and so on. Do those sound like some imitations of today's culture? We all want to be great, we all want to be noticed and we think that acting or living like someone popular will get us what we want.
- Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club wrote, “We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact."
Paul's appeal in I Corinthians 4, is for us to imitate him; because he is imitating Christ. I think we can all agree that Christ is the ultimate example for all of us. Do you agree? How to live, how to speak, how to love, how to care and most importantly how to sacrifice? Paul endures hardships such as persecution, homelessness, curses, slander and more.
- His response in verses 12 and 13 was this, "When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly."
Are we man enough these days to take that kind of abuse and deal with it? Are we man enough these days to take any kind of abuse from culture or those that think there're better than us?
"He who lives in Christ, becomes a man." I have found this very true in my own walk and in the examples of men that I am close with. The path of Christ requires us all to do things that are not taught in college, that are not taught in culture, and that are not taught on television. It requires a man to go deeper; to read more, to seek truth beyond these "easy" stimuli, to break chains of his families past, to discover the manhood Christ has set in his heart. Be a man that is strong enough and willing enough to imitate Christ, not the things of this world. Are you ready to accept the challenge and be a man that imitates Christ?
Voice your opinion below or ask more questions. We're all in this fight together!