Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I woke up this morning with thoughts of how we, through necessity or preference, engage others to address certain things we have to deal with. Think of repairing your car, changing the oil or tires, repairing appliances in your home, having someone take care of your lawn, paint or repair your house, take care of pets, plow your driveway in the winter. We simply have to recognize that an issue or problem exists and contact the appropriate person to address it.
So many products come with service contracts where we can purchase ‘insurance’ that will deal with any problems we encounter with the product. All we have to do is pick up the phone and call the repairman. It is then ‘out of our hands’ so to speak. We also have the option of ignoring such things – particularly if it is inconvenient to deal with them in terms of priorities of finances, i.e., the warning light on the dash is white not red.
Today’s verse engages us in a very different way. It calls upon us to imitate God and to live a life of love. What does it mean to imitate God? What exactly does living a life of love look like? If we think we know, how do we know that our understanding is correct? We are the ones who have to live the life of love. It is not something we can delegate to someone else or ignore. But if we think of it as a ‘have to do it’ we’ve really missed the boat. We get to do it. We must want to do it.
Think of it this way. If you are a husband or wife, you don’t delegate someone else to love your spouse – you get to do it. You want to do it – and if we’re wise, we are always looking for ways to do it better. This means we are also noting the behaviors and attitudes in our lives that are inconsistent with love. There is no higher priority for Christians than living a life of love. Our Lord loves us and we get to love Him and others in return – what incredible privileges!