Something that really annoyed me at times when I was younger was being imitated or copied by someone else, usually my brother. His intent was not to learn anything, but to aggravate, like any good brother would do. On some jobs new employees are given training partners whose job is to demonstrate how to do what is required, what is safe, and what are the standard procedures for the company and position. Becoming a follower of Christ is no different. Jesus meant for the mature followers to demonstrate to others how to live out lives that honor God. Recently I was giving a message on our Baby Dedication Sunday, and I spoke about how parents are to, “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.” —Proverbs 22:6. Our children and grandchildren need to see a good demonstration in living color of how to live and to love as Christ did. The training period is hard sometimes, because willingness is not always there on either side, the trainee or the trainer. Demonstrating the love of God is also challenging because God has not called us to just love who we love and like already, but to love even those who cross us and hurt us. The training also lasts for an extended period of time—it actually never ends. But at some point, you should be receiving some help in this training. If you have been demonstrating the Christ life and showing how to love as Christ did, at some point point the one you are training will allow another trainer to step into their lives. The other trainer is the Holy Spirit. What a great advantage when you have someone on the inside who understands the requirements and standard procedures even better than you do. You can do all you can do to demonstrate how to live and love as Christ did, but then you must trust the Holy Spirit on the inside. If the one you are training goes astray, sometimes all you can do is pray. But you can pray believing the trainer on the inside is still there and is able to redirect and empower every life to live and to love as Christ did. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
You really can’t train how to live and love as Christ did without an object to demonstrate on. God will always make sure you have someone in your life that will test your training abilities. God will make sure you have the opportunity to faithfully take up your cross and love with sacrificial love to reflect His Son. Don’t be just a spokesman for the faith in God, be the demonstrator God has called and equipped you to be. Let me ask you, who has God placed in your life right now testing your ability to love as Christ did? God has placed that person there to prove His Son lives in you. Go out today and imitate the love of Christ to others, demonstrating how to live and to love like Him.