Aside from teaching me to strut and utilize arrogant catch phrases in every day conversations, Ric taught me a great lesson about my faith. As he often accused other wrestlers of trying to be like him, he would regularly say, “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.” (Note: I know that is a very common phrase that many people use a variation of, but it made the most sense coming from the Nature Boy.)
From the many definitions I can find of flattery, it boils down to complimenting, gratifying, and trying to please someone. And I’m sure I’m not alone to believe that, according to that definition, we should feel honored to be able to flatter God by imitating Him.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT)
Of course, Christians are called to be like Christ. That is kind of what it means. So we should be trying to imitate Him with every move we make. Of course it is hard to do. If being perfect was easy, God wouldn’t have had to come down here and do it Himself.
But we have to try, even in the little things, to be as Christ-like as possible. We need to love, we need to sacrifice, we need to make ourselves uncomfortable and do things more like He did.
That all starts with reading the Bible to see the things that Jesus did in the New Testament. How can we imitate Him if we don’t know where to start? Then we need to dedicate ourselves to prayer. Knowing Him is the only way to grow closer to Him and become more like Him.
Finally, we need to get off of our behinds and do something. Jesus did spend some time with His friends. He took some alone time every now and again. However, He used the majority of His time teaching, helping, serving, and loving people. He produced undeniable fruit that came from His intensive ministry and labor.
Try to be a little more like Christ today. And a little more tomorrow. And the next day. And so on. Let’s work hard to imitate Him in all that we do.
“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” –Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1 NLT)