And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6: 11-12
All of us can run into those times when we are dragging in our faith; when we are trying but just can’t seem to bring vitality to the challenges we face each day. We are, as the writer of Hebrews notes above, sometimes “sluggish.”
Sluggishness may not necessarily be a sin, but when we get sluggish it certainly slows us down in our journey of faith. So how do we get going again and recapture the energy of a vibrant faith?
The answer is a simple one; we imitate those around us—or who walked before us—who are clearly winning the race of faith.
We can certainly try to imitate those in the Bible who won victories of faith and Scripture is a great place to start in our search for the spiritually strong.
Yet there are also those around us who are winning. These are people we need to stick close to, asking questions and watching for patterns of victory.
For me, it was a family at a school where I worked. Every one of their children was walking in faith, living a life of strong character and of integrity. I watched them at church. I asked them questions. And hopefully, I imitated. This was a vibrant family—I wanted to be like them and they made me better.
It was also a guy I watched regularly who had a quiet, yet strong confidence in God. His life is never rushed, just like Jesus. So I asked, “What are your habits? How do you balance work and family and everything else?” He talked, I listened.
Looking at my life I can find more and more people God placed in my path, whom I could imitate. This wasn’t about idolizing and I’ve never viewed these people as perfect, nor would they. But they were, and are, directional markers for me on a pathway to a stronger, vibrant faith.
The writer of Hebrews challenges us to find those around us whom we can imitate in some form or another, because God wants us to see examples of vibrancy, so that we are protected from sluggishness as we press on.
Who are your “Imitation-Worthy” acquaintances and friends? If we want to stay energized in our faith, let’s seek them out. It’s a great way to stay sharp and focused as we seek to change the world around us.
by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
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