“Imitation” is one of those words that can be interpreted positively or negatively depending on its context.
When we are looking for the best of something we don’t want an imitation. We want the “real thing”, something authentic and original. For example, when I’m baking and need to add vanilla I’m not interested in an imitation. I want authentic, pure vanilla.
I can tell when cookies don’t have real vanilla in them. They are missing something.
There are other examples of undesirable imitations. Most women don’t want an imitation diamond in their engagement ring. Imitation documents are not as valuable as the originals. Often a remake of a favorite song is considered an undesirable imitation. It’s missing something and we long for the original sung by our favorite musician.
What about imitating people? We have all heard children (and sadly adults too) imitating an action or phrase of another in a mocking manner, making fun of the way they talk or act. This type of imitation can be hurtful and if continued can tun into bullying, hurting feelings and damaging the self-esteem of the recipient.
But there is also imitation of people that is beneficial, even critical to our lives.
As children most of what we learn is dependent on imitation. We learn to walk by watching, then imitating others around us. We learn to talk by repeating phrases spoken to us and to write by copying what is written for us. Even as adults learning a new trade we depend on others to teach us how they do it. Which brings up an important point.
We must be careful who we imitate.
Choosing to learn from someone who has seen success in his or her own life is a wise decision. When we know a person has mastered a talent or who has wisdom on a subject they are the ones whose brains we want to pick. We can depend on them to lead us in the right direction and help us be successful in our own lives. These people can show us their failures as well as successes to assist us on our path. They are not perfect but they are genuine, learning what is important and passing those things on to others.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;” Ephesians 2:1 NASB
There is one person who was perfect in His life. Jesus came to earth and lived an unblemished life, leaving a legacy for us to imitate. Examining Jesus’ life through studying the bible shows us how we should treat others and the attitude we should have as we live each day. We never have to question his reputation or wonder if there is someone who could teach us better.
Jesus is genuine and a perfect example.
He is the real thing.
If we imitate Him we will always find the missing peace in our puzzle of life.
blessings and peace to you,