One of the great directives in discipleship was given by Jesus. He said, “Come, follow me.” Matthew 4:19. Paul then took Jesus’ command and reinterpreted it to those he was leading in Christ. He said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1.
Hence a crucial system of discipleship was formed: Follow Jesus as I follow Jesus. Following Jesus means to imitate his love, his truth, his character. In Jesus day they had a euphemism for it, “May the dust of your rabbi be upon you.”
Paul’s command to Follow my example as I follow Christ’s example, means imitation is more than asking, “What would Jesus do?” It’s about taking the time to observe and have relationships with other Christians and learning from them. Observe their actions and deeds and see what Christ’s love really looks like, acted out. Then imitating it in your life.
So the challenge is, what other Christian, who is a stronger Christian than you, can you imitate as they imitate Christ? Ideally this person is not at a distance, but someone of whom you have a good relationship. On the flip side, who are you saying to, like Paul is, follow me as I follow Christ?