Whether in love, in our professional journey, or even in our spiritual growth, we must remember that God created us all differently with a different mission. It is therefore useless to imitate others.
We all have the same needs to eat, breathe, and be loved. All of God’s children have a goal, a mission, to make the Kingdom of God grow. But because we are all created differently, we all have a particular path to follow. Paul described it very well in one of his letters when he compared Christians to members of a body. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:4-5 NIV). We can therefore draw inspiration from the spiritual journey of another Christian around us, but it is not by copying their approach that we will achieve the same result. Two brothers in the church could do the same fast and have two different results for a thousand reasons. If we don’t get the results we want or envy the results of others, we can look at what they have done differently. But keep in mind that our path is not the same. That is why there is no recipe for miracles in the Bible.
Even though the twelve Apostles remained faithful to Christ, none of them died in the same way. Jesus had to rebuke Peter when he asked the Master what would happen to John. “When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (John 21:21-22 NIV). We don’t have to envy another person’s destiny or complain about our plight by comparing ourselves to others. We need to learn God’s will for our lives and carry it out to the best of our ability.
We can admire another person’s success, especially when that person seems to find that rare gem! But be careful, just reproducing the same method they used will not work for you! Likewise, just because one method worked for you doesn’t mean it will work for another person. So you can neither impose your methods nor judge the methods of others to advance in the will of God. God would never inspire us to follow a path that is contrary to His principles. Therefore, we can inspire those around us to stay on course with Biblical principles, but the way we follow them will be different for each person.
That is why it is so important to always keep our eyes on Christ. As soon as we start to fix our attention on another source, we become tempted to imitate it, and this can lead us in the wrong direction. Take the example of driving. If we look at the car in front of us, and it starts to pull to the right, we may also start to pull to the right. In our driving lessons, we learn to always look at the road ahead. We must remain alert to other vehicles, but we cannot fix our eyes on another vehicle. Paul needed to correct Cephas when he began to pay too much attention to the Jewish authorities. “When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group” (Galatians 2:11-12 NIV). Peter (Cephas) wanted to stay in the good graces of the Jews, but in doing so, he was no longer merciful to non-Jews.
By trying to be like someone else, because that other person has a little something that we too would like to have, we risk straying from the path of Christ’s truth. We must keep our eyes on Christ and follow the way He asks of us, and not try to follow another’s way, no matter how spiritual it seems. Maybe God wants a person to pray for 3 hours a day, and by obeying God that person gets a special anointing. But that does not mean that you will have the same anointing if you pray for 3 hours. If God does not ask you, personally, to do this, you will not have the same results. God doesn’t want sacrifices, He wants our obedience. So let’s learn to listen to the voice of God and follow Him where He leads us.