“Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you” – Paul the Apostle
Paul kills me sometimes. I know he is a super apostle and all that. I know he is the God-chosen messenger to the gentiles. I know he was basically brilliant. I know he had incredible pharisaical discipline and a decent amount of drive. I know he was an incredible conceptual thinker and author. But he was also just a man. Kryptonite might not affect him but I am sure he was still born on this planet. As talented as he was, don’t you think he is a little over the top when he tells the churches, “follow my example”? Talk about brash! Talk about arrogance! Talk about an example!
The thing that challenges me about him is: Am I living a life that I could say follow my example? I better be! Now I don’t have any of Paul’s credentials, but I do have one thing in common with him. The basis of his proclamation to being a mentor is based on his committed following of Christ. We should follow him as he (Paul) follows Christ. You see that’s where it gets sticky for me. Where would I put up my follower-ship as an example? Those of you who know me are saying the same thing; “ yeah Tim which area would you put yourself up for an example to follow”.
Before you grab your pitchfork and cry death to the Ogre. What about you? Where would you put yourself up as an example? Give me an illustration of how you are a Christ follower worth emulating. Before you dismiss me and say like Charles Barkley that you are not a role model, you better ask yourself some tough questions. If you (or I) can’t put ourselves up as a model, who are our children or co-workers supposed to look at. You see Paul put it in print. We put it in practice everyday. One reason I don’t like bumper stickers on my car is once you put the fish out there, everybody expects you to drive like a Christian. (Whatever that means).
My challenge to you and to myself is to come up with a concrete list of where you are an example worth following, a list where you are aspiring to be and a list of where you are a negative example. I may post a follow-up of this later if I can find anything worth reporting on my list. Lead on!
Photo by jaiel