Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV)
This just seems like a pretty arrogant thing to say. Can you imagine if I walked up to you and said, "Hey, just do what I do and you will be living the way Jesus wants you to." That comes across as a pretty arrogant statement. But if you think about it, is it really? If you're a Christian, you are usually looking for someone who has gone through life with Christ more than you have in order to be mentored by them. Paul is speaking to a church in the city of Corinth, telling them to imitate him as he imitates Jesus. He is acting as a mentor; he's just making it known to everyone.
But here's the other thing that stood out: Paul was living it out. Paul was not just an apostle who would preach one thing and then live another. He wasn't a hypocrite. He actually lived out this walk with Jesus in a way that he wanted to see all followers of Jesus walk. Again, I know, it sounds arrogant, but I am so thankful for Paul's example to be willing to be an example. He was saying, "Do as I do and say as I say."
So it makes those of us who are investing in the lives of others stop and ask this question: Am I living my life for Christ in a way that I want those following me to imitate? So often I answer with, "No way - I want them to surpass me." But here's the problem with that: why am I being so lazy and not moving even further ahead? Why am I settling for where I'm at while wanting others to experience more? I should want ALL OF JESUS and EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH HIM!!!
Even though it may seem arrogant, it's refreshing and inviting. Oh how I desire to be able to live my life for Jesus so that I too can say to those that I have the privilege of pastoring, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ."