Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Being A Living Example

"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
- 1 Timothy 4:12

Even though the above passage speaks directly to Timothy, a young gospel preacher, this is definitely a principle we can (and should!) strive to live by.  One thing is certain, no matter how old or young, strong or weak, vocal or quiet a person is there are always people observing and evaluating the pattern he or she is setting.  

As followers of Christ, this is especially important for us to consider as we go about our everyday walk of life.  The way we live our lives will do one of two things:  draw others to Christ, or push them away from them.  While we don't have direct control over the outcome of our example, we can still have some say in how we influence some of the people we come in contact with.  If we are living our lives in such a way that others see the faith we have in God, the sincerity in which we respond to God's commands, and the genuine love we have for our Creator as well as those around us we are more likely to draw others to Him.  However, if they see us say one thing then do another, they will acknowledge our hypocrisy and have no desire to learn more about Jesus.  If we don't take Him seriously, why should they?

Those who are mature in the faith have the potential to serve as godly patterns to those who are younger and less knowledgeable.  Paul wrote to the church at Philippi concerning himself and disciples working with him, encouraging them follow the pattern they set, "Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern." (Philippians 3:17

How encouraging are the words Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica!  "And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything." (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)  These brethren were living their lives in such a way that others were converted to Christ!  How wonderful!  Shouldn't we strive to do the same?

May we all consider our day-to-day conduct as we live out our lives here on earth.  Remember, Christ is our ultimate example.  Following Him we will not fall short.

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