Two years ago, at summer camp, I was talking to my friends and trying to describe someone. Clearly, it was not working, so I got up and imitated the way that the person walked. Almost instantly, they knew exactly who I meant. I imitated the walk, and they recognized it and knew who I was imitating.
You have probably heard the phrase, “if you’re going to talk the talk then you need to walk the walk.” Because we are often one person inside the doors of the church building and another as soon as we walk out. Because we are often simply hearers of the word and not doers. Because we often speak things that we don’t live out.
The world is watching us. And I’m not talking about stalking our social media or placing cameras in our bedroom; they’re watching the way we live. They see that we have something different, and they watch to learn what it is. What are they seeing?
If we are Christians, we should stick out. Not in a bad way, like a sore thumb; rather we should stick out as different. Our walk should be distinctive. Our life should be unique.
The world should be able to look at us and see Who we are following. The world should be able to look at us and observe us imitating our Leader. The world should be able to look at us and realize that we have been with Jesus.
In Ephesians 4 and 5, Paul writes about the walk of a believer, and what it should look like. There is a lot packed into these two chapters, but 5 times he specifically mentions how we should walk.
- Ephesians 4:1 – We should walk worthy of our calling.
- Ephesians 4:17 – We should not walk as the rest of the world walks.
- Ephesians 5:2 – We should walk in love, as Christ loved us.
- Ephesians 5:8 – We should walk as children of light.
- Ephesians 5:15 – We should walk circumspectly, redeeming the time.
There is so much that could be said about these verses, but perhaps the key concept is found in the first verse of chapter 5: “Be imitators of God as dear children.”
I know a young man who lived in a terrible home atmosphere. There was an older man who came to the house of the young man and made things a bit better for his family. After that, this younger fellow wanted to take the name of the other man: Romeo. The young man began introducing himself to people as Romeo, and asked everyone else to start calling him Romeo. He wanted to be known as Romeo because of what the older Romeo had done in his life.
We should be doing the same thing. As Christians, we bear the name of Christ! We should be seeking to become like Jesus, seeking to be known as one who loves Jesus, seeking to imitate Jesus! Seeking to walk like Jesus did. We are called by His name, and we have the responsibility as “Christ-ones” to imitate how He walked, to walk worthy of our calling.
The older Romeo has now gone down a bad path and has made life even harder for the family of the younger Romeo than it was before. Because of this, the younger fellow no longer wants to be known as Romeo. When he is called Romeo, he now considers it a shame.
And again, we should be doing the same thing, rejecting our old man and the life of sin that we have left behind! We need to lay aside our walk in the counsel of the ungodly (Psalm 1). We need to forsake it, no longer wanting to be known as one who loves sin. We need to stop imitating the walk of the world. Instead, we need to imitate Christ and walk as He did. How can we do that?
There is a camp I go to in Tennessee, and the people there have accents that are different from how we speak in South Florida. I love their southern accents and after a week of being at that camp and being spoken to in that accent, I find myself picking it up. Suddenly I say “y’all” and start to have a bit of a drawl. Because I like the accent and spend time with people who speak with it, I end up talking with the accent myself.
The same thing is true in our lives. If we choose to spend time with Jesus, it will show, and we will start to imitate Him.
It’s not an easy walk. Often it’s a seemingly lonely walk. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
But it’s worth it, and the rewards are eternal. So walk as He walked, Christian.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” -Romans 8:1-2