“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children.” (Ephesians 5:1 CSB)
How does someone imitate God? This sounds a little sacrilegious, but it is not intended that way in any sense. Paul means it in a genuine sense of honoring God. In our culture we sometimes say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” By that we just mean that we imitate those we admire. And children growing up will invariably imitate their parents at one time or another. A little girl may dress up in her mother’s clothes. A little boy will try on his father’s shoes. They love mom and dad, so they imitate them. Thus, we are to imitate what we see in the Lord Jesus.
Paul particularly uses the metaphor of “walking” to help us understand this. In fact, he make three statements about walking.
First, we are to “walk in love” as Christ did and gave Himself up for us as a sacrificial, fragrant offering to the Father. In part, this means that we are to stay away from anything that would pollute our love for God. As heirs of the kingdom of God, we are to walk in the same kind of love that Jesus displayed to the world. And we should note that it was a costly love.
Second, we are to walk in the light. Paul calls us “children of light.” We know what is good and right and pleasing to the Lord. So, we stay out of the darkness and live instead by the truth that the light revealed to us.
Third, we are to walk carefully. Paul says, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk – not as unwise people but as wise – making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” (verses 15-16) We avoid foolishness and anything associated with it and seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that our walk will be characterized by wisdom.
Lord, Help us today to walk with You and with one another in love, in the light, and in care. For Your glory. Amen.