In my last post, I wrote about the characteristics of children. I was still catching up after falling way behind on this series, and in my haste, I must’ve forgotten one key trait: imitation.
Adults. Other children. Animals. TV and movie characters. Whatever they see, they do.
When my daughter snaps at me in a loud, stern voice and says “NO, MOMMY!” it should come as no surprise. When she raises her voice and shouts at her brother or the dog, it should come as no surprise. When she insists on staring at my iPhone for hours on end, it should come as no surprise. When she loses her cool over the color of an eating utensil (or some other trivial thing), it should come as no surprise.
These are things she sees me do all the time.
And yet, I still find myself posing the question, “why does she act this way? Why does she not behave? Why does she talk back, raise her voice, lose her cool, and disrespect me so much?”
Because she’s imitating what she sees. It’s not her fault; it’s mine.
And the solution is not to force her to change her behavior. It’s to change the way I behave. I can’t expect her to “honor thy father and mother” if I am not setting an honorable example.
They say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” But Yeshua said imitation is the sincerest form of obedience:
“So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” John 13:12-15
Yeshua lived out the Torah (YHWH’s instructions) perfectly. He showed us exactly how to do the Father’s will. He lived a sinless life in full obedience to God’s commandments. He set the example, and we were told to follow it.
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 1 John 2:3-6
We cannot claim to know Him and then say that His instructions were done away with. We cannot claim to follow Him and then refuse to do what He said, because “those laws were just for the Jews.” His Word says that if we are in Messiah, then we are Abraham’s seed (Gal. 3:29), and if we claim to be of His Kingdom, then we have no excuse for not living according to His constitution.
If you don’t like the laws of the land, then you probably shouldn’t live there … (#justsayin)
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt. 19:14
Our children are watching us. May we follow the example of Yeshua, and in doing so, train them up to walk in His ways.
“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 18:3
This post is day 37 in my 40 days of repentance series. Click here to read day 36.