1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not become partners with them;
8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.
13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,
14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
According to multiple resources, the word “imitate” in the simplest form means to “take or follow as a model.” In other words, as Christians we are to allow for others to see Christ in our speech, conduct, response and in every area of our lives. Our actions go further then just what we do, it is more of a reflection of the heart. If our hearts are aligned with Christ, our actions will be an outward reflection of Him living in our hearts.
This passage touches on some very specific attributes that we ought to live by. The first touches on love and how that is the foundation and motive behind our way of living. Following that is a list of things that we need to pursue in our walk with Christ.
- The way we view purity: verse 3 clearly touches on sexual immorality and how participating in anything that is not pure goes against what God commands to be moral and just. This verse is a command not to indulge in such behavior because since God is pure, and we are His followers, we too ought to present purity in our lives, hearts and actions.
- Our Language: verse 4 touches on the way we use our tongue and the things that we say. Our words ought to present righteous living and we are to avoid things like gossip, cursing, and hateful words towards others. The tongue is a powerful source and our words ought to bring Glory to Christ.
- Who we associate with: verses 6-12 describe the behavior of those who do not walk with Christ. Before we became saved, we too were once like those who walked in darkness. The goal is to not fall back into those habits and be enticed by the world. Rather, be strong in our faith and find encouragement in others who are also walking with Christ.
- Use of time: Verses 15-16 touch on being wise with our time because no one knows how long we all have left on this earth. God calls us to be useful and use our time not participating in things that are not beneficial to us, but rather look for ways to be used by Him and a blessing to others.
- Our overall conduct: verses 17-21 sum up how our behavior should be and to be filled with the Holy Spirit leading and guiding our steps instead of acting like one who is drunk and misstepping with no clear direction.
Make it your daily prayer to emulate Christ in all that you do. Starting with your thoughts, heart, and outward actions. Allow for God to take captive of your mind so that you are able to, with His strength, live out a life that honors and pleases Him.