Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

On our recent family vacation to Las Vegas we were blessed to see a few shows.  One was the Jabbawockeez (that I wrote about last week) and another was MJ Live – a tribute to Michael Jackson.

It was a great show, made even more entertaining by the fact that the performer had a hole in his pants (right where you don’t want a hole in your pants) for the first-half of the show.  My family and I marvelled at the actor’s physical resemblance to the late “King of Pop” and needless to say, his vocals and dance moves were spot on.

The entire audience loved it.  In fact, screams of “We love you, Michael” cascaded throughout the theater.  In retrospect, I sure hope they know they were watching an impersonator.  In a nice ironic twist, the actor’s name is actually Michael.  But I digress.

When I speak to young people about image and imitation, I talk about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.  That is, when someone copies you, generally it’s because they want to be like you.  I then go on to share stories of my kids and how they flatter me (good, bad, and ugly) but imitating me.

But regardless of good, bad, or ugly, I know that I am not the BEST example to my kids all the time. For that example, we all need to look towards another loving Father: that is, God. And in imitating God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son, lies our challenge as Christians: to be the face of Christ to everyone that we encounter.

Wouldn’t it be cool if every single person that we meet walks away thinking to himself: “Man…what is up with him? Where does he get that sense of joy and love from? Whatever it is…I want some of that!” Whether our family and friends are churched or unchurched, the way that we carry ourselves is a true form of evangelization.

Now that I think about it…it’s more than being the face of Christ. It’s being Christ-like completely. Compliments like “you’re awesome,” or “you’re a good friend,” or “you look great,” or “nice haircut” pale in comparison to the one that says: “You were Christ to me.”

That’s what I often tell people: the essence of being a good Christian is BEING, and not necessarily DOING.  After all, we are called human beings and not human doings.

Yes, imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery.

God doesn’t need to be flattered.  But He does need to be imitated.