I was reading in I Corinthians 4 last night where Paul is talking about carnal Christianity and came across verses 14-16:
“I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.”
That last part in verse 16 is what got me. Paul says, “Imitate me!” I however am not to the point in my walk with God where I can say this to someone else. He has me on the road to that place, but for now I am still at the “Do what I say and not what I do stage”. Is this in part because of verse 15? There are so many telling me what to do and not showing me? See, that is the difference between a father and a teacher. A teacher instructs and says “This is the way it is, believe it and walk in it.” A father says, “I have been there to the place you long for, follow me and do what I do and we will both make it there again.” See, in a classroom, people don’t really get to know the instructors. They only know them by what they speak in the class. Children however know their father and become like him, whether they like it sometimes or not, because they see his life.
There is very little that I can look back to and say, “I am this way because of Mr. Soandso was so compelling in the classroom.” I can however attest to many of my characteristics (and so can my wife) where I am a carbon copy of my dad. Why is that? A teacher teaches knowledge and a father teaches life. In my walk with God right now I am a mere instructor who has but a bit of knowledge of God and I try and pass it to those who will listen, but I long to be a father and not have to say a word except, “If you want to know Him, imitate me because I am like He is.“