Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Monkey See, Monkey Do in Matters of Faith Too

Recently my almost 2 year old son has moved into a new routine where he basically will mimic almost everything I do in order to be like me. It was quite humorous and cute at first and still is, but I realized the other day that he is watching everything that I do and will mimic both the good and the bad. In order to test this theory out, I gave my wife/his mom a kiss. My son immediately goes over and also gives his mom a kiss. I then threw a plastic cup across the room and my son immediately threw a plastic cup across the room.

The majority of the time it is still cute and funny when I am doing things for him to intentionally mimic but I have realized that he is watching at all times. So if I am loving and serving my wife in the way that I should then he is watching this and will likely mimic me. If I am not loving and serving my wife in the way that I should then he too will likely mimic this behavior. The song, "God is watching us..." comes to mind except for the fact that God knows the difference between right or wrong when my son does not at this point.

Although it is fun to watch my son try to be like me by mimicking me and even at times trying to literally fill my shoes, I want him to mimic me for things in life that truly matter. I want my son to see the faith and love that I have for God. I want my son to mimic me reading the Bible and praying to God. I want my son to mimic a lifestyle of sacrifice and worship to the one true God.

You see my son has not been told to mimic me but he just naturally does it because I am his dad and at least for this moment in his life, I am the person he looks up to as his role model. In the same way I think about the guys that I am discipling in India. Most often what I model for them, not tell them, will be what they will mimic. So if I am telling them to treat their wife one way but they see me treat my wife another way, they will do what I do not what I say.

In the same way, when I am equipping them to be sent out to plant churches, they will model what I myself do more than what I say. This is one reason that I like to spend times with the group of men I am investing with outside of just trainings. This allows me to live life on life with these men where I can model, assist, and watch as they go on to do great things for God.

We all model our lifestyle for someone, whether we choose that or not. So who is it that is watching your life and modeling the way the live off of you? Is this something you would be proud to admit? Or are there definite areas of concern that you want to start modeling in a more holistic way?

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