On November 26, 1938, in Ottawa, Canada, a child was born who would one day be known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices.” That man is Rich Little, an impressionist and voice actor who became famous for his spot-on impressions of many celebrities, U.S. presidents, and historical figures. Little is a master mimic of more than 200 voices, such as Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, John Wayne, Jack Benny, and Jimmy Stewart. In some cases, he could convincingly mimic not just the voice, but also the walk and mannerisms of the person he was impersonating.
As believers, we are called to be imitators. We are not called to mimic a voice, a walk, or a mannerism. Just as a child imitates his father or mother, we are called to be imitators of God, to display His characteristics in all that we say or do (Ephesians 5:1). We are also to be imitators of Christ by walking in love as Christ did, a love that is made evident by the fact that He willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice for us (Ephesians 5:2).
The apostle Paul knew the importance of being imitators of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul exhorted the believers in Corinth to be imitators of him, just as he was an imitator of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). And as we just saw, he encouraged the believers in Ephesus to be imitators of God and of Christ. Paul also commended the Thessalonian believers for being imitators of him and his companions and of the Lord Jesus (1 Thessalonians 1:6). He later urged those same believers to continue to imitate the Lord, noting that what they were doing was pleasing to God (1Thessalonians 4:1).
When we walk in the ways of Christ, when we work at being imitators of God, we can be sure that God is pleased with the way in which we live our lives. After all, we are created in His image (Genesis 1:27).