“Who was your favorite professor?” I asked the nurse who was taking my blood sample. She had taken her training at the university where I worked, so I was interested in her opinion. After a few moments thought, she said, “All the professors were great, but there was one I especially remember. She shaped how I practice nursing. Often, when faced with a patient situation, I ask myself how she would handle it.”
We are natural imitators. Teachers, mentors, and examples have a powerful ability to influence what we learn. At our best, we choose good examples who not only show us what to do, but also shape our character and our souls. But it can work the other way, too, when we choose the wrong examples, sometimes with disastrous results.
In the ancient world, learning was said to depend on three things: theory, imitation, and practice. Theory taught the reasons why something should be done. Then the student would attempt to imitate the teacher’s behavior. But only with constant practice came mature ability.
We are encouraged to imitate God. We are taught why we should do it: we are his beloved children. We are given the example to follow: Christ who loved us, giving himself for us.
What remains is the practice, and that’s often the hardest part. Walk in love. Sounds easy — until you try to actually do it every day. We need to fix the example of Christ firmly in mind. And keep practicing, knowing he is living in us through his Spirit, thereby making it possible for us to do so!
Lord Jesus, thank you for uniting me to yourself through your Spirit. I want to walk in your will today, loving each person I meet with your love. Remind me to trust you to manifest this love through me when it seems hard. Amen.
Throughout This Day: Invite Christ to love every person you meet through your thoughts, your words, and your actions as you go from one daily task to another.
Photo Credit: Lasse Bergqvist on Unsplash