Want the Answer to Life’s Troubles? Become a Copy-Cat

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. ~ I Cor. 11:1 NKJV

Balladeer, Harry Chapin, wrote a song called “Cat’s in the Cradle” about a boy who wants to be just like his daddy. He absorbs the ‘lessons’ his father demonstrated, and at the end of the song the father sings, “My boy was just like me”.  Only problem was, the dad had taught him the wrong lessons.

Well, you were created “in the image and likeness” of God (Gen. 1:26-27). He’s your spiritual Father if you have accepted the adoption He offers. Jesus is your big brother. And you are supposed to be ‘just like Him’.

When God created man in His image and likeness, He told us to ‘have dominion’.  That dominion was given to your spirit – the part of you connected directly to Divine Spirit. Your spirit is supposed to be strong and healthy, able to govern the rest of your life –including your physical body and soul (your mind, will and emotions).

God wants you to have all the blessings He promised you. Freedom from troubles. More than enough of whatever you need. But it starts with you. He gave you the freedom of free will – the freedom to choose.

The trouble is that your ‘chooser’, your guide, is supposed to be your spirit. If it isn’t, you will never get where you want to be. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). They are your helpers and guides.

If you have not taken the time to nourish your spirit, it is anemic, not strong enough to defeat the challenges that rise up against you. So you go through life driven by the whims of your thoughts, emotions and urges. Just like the lyrics to another song, “sometimes down, sometimes up” (On My Way by Phil Ochs).

  • Do you ‘surrender’ when the thought pops into your head that you want what you know you shouldn’t have?
  • Do you give in to feelings of sadness, anger, fear and frustration? Do you allow those emotions to affect your mood and your relationships?
  • Do you let troubles get you down?
  • Do you quit when things seem ‘too hard’ even though – deep down – you know you should stick it out?   

 Here’s the answer: Become a copy-cat. Copy your Father. Be like Jesus. Use your spiritual strength to defeat your troubles, overcome your problems and receive the answers you seek.

So how do you strengthen your spirit? How do you grow the right fruit? With proper food and exercise! Again, notice that you are responsible to do this. God will not do it for you.

Everything in this world needs nourishment to thrive. That includes your spirit. It feeds on God’s Word. The Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing” (Rom. 10:17). Prayer, study, meditation, and affirmation (saying what He says) all contribute to a strong human spirit. The more you feed it, the stronger it becomes. God’s Word is both food and fertilizer!

To exercise your spirit, practice living by faith. Faith needs practice, just like everything else. I used to spend an hour after school every day practicing my music. Dancers spend hours perfecting their steps. Ball players practice the same moves over and over until they become automatic.

When you take a stand on God’s promises and don’t back down, your spirit gets stronger, more ‘toned’. Every victory, every test becomes a testimonial. You develop the ability to laugh at your troubles because you know you are strong enough to defeat them.

 Just copy your Father. He never met a trouble He couldn’t overcome. A sickness He wouldn’t cure. A situation He couldn’t change. And He did it with faith and patience, love and peace.

You get the victory God promised (I John 5:4). He gets the glory and the satisfaction of seeing His kid do well. Like any parent, He’s supporting you and cheering you on in this game called LIFE. But you’re the one who has to play. You choose. You play. You win.

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