Have you ever noticed that fashion and style tends to change based on the the “popular” people. Hollywood celebrities, sports heroes, music superstars, etc… all significantly impact the predominant fashion and style of our culture. People imitate those they adore. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Kids dress up like firefighters, princesses, police officers, ballerinas, sports heroes, and more. Even adults get into dressing up (just look at professional sports attire, superhero t-shirts, etc…).
I was listening to the radio this week, and I heard a snippet from someone (not sure who) talking about idolatry. He said that people imitate the things we worship. If we truly worship God we will imitate more and more of His qualities. We will act, comment, dress, and live in honor of the one we worship. Likewise, if we worship the fame, fortune, and glittery material things, we will also begin to imitate them. When someone worships what is cold, hard, fleeting, and superficial, you will find that their lives, their priorities and their hearts will slowly become cold, hard, fleeting and superficial. Think about. Do people who are focused on wealth, fame, or achievement tend to be noticed because of their notable compassion or their notable drive, determination and zeal for those things they pursue? Maybe that is why Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Your attitudes, behavior, the things you talk, about and even your attire provide some indication for your own self-evaluation of your commitment to God. It is always a good idea to do regular check-ups on yourself to check these things–even better enlist the help of a close Christian to discuss these areas of your life with. Even Doctors don’t do their own check-ups 100% of the time. So, who do you imitate?
It is vital, however, that I note this is not a way to evaluate other people unless requested personally by that other person. All too often people evaluate others based on the appearance of externals. Appearance, behavior, and even attitudes can be deceiving–much like the cover of a book. Evaluations based on these things alone is very dangerous. This is made very plain in the selection of David, see 1 Samuel 16:7-13. While David wasn’t much to look at his heart was good and right with God–something his predecessor Saul lacked. Further, it is also subtly demonstrated in the gospels, regarding Judas. Judas was entrusted with the money bag and when Jesus declared one of the twelve would betray–it doesn’t appear from the text that any called out Judas (John 13:21-31). Why? Judas was trusted and his externals demonstrated faith, while his heart was far from Jesus. Externals are a good sign to evaluate yourself–not to evaluate others.