“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children.”
– Ephesians 5:1 (NIV)
Daily Meditation: Ephesians 4:17-32, Ephesians 5:1-20
Think of a child you dearly love. Perhaps you have your own children, or maybe there is a special niece, nephew, or student in your life. No matter how adorable, precious, and cherished the child is, that special someone is far from perfect. Do you expect perfection from him or her? How would you feel if you learned that the child you love was waiting to achieve perfection or at least get a bit closer to perfection before spending more time in relationship with you?
In the fourth and fifth chapters of Ephesians, we read a number of expectations for our walk as Christians. Our words are to be edifying, our hearts grateful, and our time fruitful. Yet we do not need to achieve perfection in these areas in order for us to have a close relationship with the Lord.
Instead, as dearly loved children, we are called to imitate the God who created us. Children are imitators, but although we are privileged to be children of the one true source of goodness, we simply cannot become truly “good” on our own. So instead of getting caught up in a cycle of trying to do better, become more holy, and be more perfect, let’s stop and focus on childlike imitation. To imitate someone, we must pay close attention to who they are and what they do. We can imitate the Lord only when we are paying attention to what he is like.
Let us adopt this mindset now—not at some point in the future, but on this very day. How can we imitate Jesus today? What if right now we stepped back from all the standards we measure ourselves by and instead fixed our eyes on Jesus? What if we trusted him to hold us and guide us as we seek to imitate his love in our daily lives?
We really can “walk in love” (Ephesians 5:2a) and not in fear. Today let us forget our earthly ideas of perfection, whether motivated by pride, anxiety, or insecurity. Instead, let us imitate our Father as cherished children. Let us take shelter in our nearness to him.
“In your nearness I take shelter. Where you are is where I’m home.
I have need of only one thing: To be here before your throne.”
– Meredith Andrews, “Draw Me Nearer”
Be fearless: Trust the Lord in this: if you keep your eyes on him, he will guide you in becoming more like him. Spend time worshiping the Lord and reading his word instead of mentally running through your own expectations and desires of perfection.
by Julie Clinton & Dina Jones
Spend this summer growing closer to the Lord and becoming the fearless, strong, and faithful woman you are meant to be in Him! In Be Fearless, Julie Clinton provides a scripturally-sound guide for finding freedom, purpose, joy… and fearlessness. Exclusively offered by Extraordinary Women Ministries, Be Fearless is now available in our store! https://www.aacc.net/product/be-fearless/ We hope you will spend this summer growing closer to the Lord and stepping into the fearless, strong, faithful woman you are meant to be in Him.
Julie Clinton, MAd, MBA, is president of Extraordinary Women and host of EWomen conferences all across America. She is the author of several books including A Woman’s Path to Emotional Freedom, 10 Things You Aren’t Telling Him, and Extraordinary Women. She is passionate about seeing women live out their dreams by finding their freedom in Christ. Julie and her husband, Tim, live in Virginia with their children, Megan and Zach.