6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.Being someone who is imitated.
I have to admit, since becoming a parent I am more aware of what it means to be imitated. I have a boy child who likes to be involved in the things that his mommy is involved in. I see him copying my actions and talking about what he is doing. Makes me nervous sometimes because I have some faults about me that I don't particularly want this lad copying.
Makes me wonder what kind of woman I am proving to be.
But Paul, he was imitated by these Thessalonian people. And the report was good. People talked about them as examples to others as well. How their faith in God influenced their actions. Turning from false gods to the one true God. AND how they await the return of Jesus Christ. I like how Beckham wrote it:
Paul, in this verse, is praising the Thessalonian Christians BECAUSE they became "imitators" of Paul, of his companions, and especially - of "the Lord." And like the Lord had done, Paul and the others "emptied" themselves of their own wants and desires (Philippians 2:5-8). The "Word" of God had become everything to them. When they imitated Paul, they were looking to the Lord in him. The "tribulation" of this verse involved the unbelieving Jews who persecuted Paul and his companions, ultimately causing them to leave Thessalonica altogether (Acts 17:4-10). .......So the good example that Paul, Timothy and Silas were to the Thessalonican people spread. Now that is neat. It's kinda like the movie Pass It On, where one good deed becomes another and so forth. It just kept spreading.
Note that the Thessalonian Christians had become an "example to all the (other) believers" in Greece. People everywhere pretend that they do not notice others, looking away so that we don't think they see, but all are noticed far more than we know. Bad behavior is seen and copied by others, but so is the good. The Thessalonian Christians exhibited faith, hope and love in abundance (Verse 3), and even though communication was more difficult at that time than it is now, the news about their faith had spread all over the Greek world.
That's how the gospel should be spread. This good news of God from one person, and then to another and then on and on and on.
So this then is something to consider further.
Who am I imitating?
And am I living in such a way to be a person who is imitated for my Christian living?