Psalm 129-131 1 Corinthians 11:1-16
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NCV)
In between Paul’s admonitions on Christian freedom and eating meat sacrificed to demons and a teaching on head coverings, Paul includes a short verse that may be one of the boldest statements in the Bible. He calls on us to follow his example. He has the boldness to say that because he knew that in his relationship with Jesus, he followed Jesus in all he did. His challenge, to follow him, not only challenged those in Corinth to change their lives by following a living, breathing example of Jesus, he challenged himself to live a life that was so close to Jesus that it was worthy of being followed.
Not many show that kind of boldness today. Most people are like me. We know that if we invited that kind of scrutiny in our lives, someone would catch us doing wrong – especially in today’s climate. When you invite people to scrutinize your life, trouble’s bound to come. Just ask Gary Hart, one-time presidential candidate who issued such a challenge. If they don’t find something wrong in your life by following you around, your past social media activity is bond to be a career killer. What we do, instead of issuing a bold challenge like Paul did, is say piously, “Don’t look at me. I’m a sinner too. Look to Jesus and follow Him.” I’m not sure what we mean when we say this. Are we telling others that we aren’t good enough to follow Jesus, but they should be? Are we telling them to do as we say, not as we do? Whatever the case may be, we need to stop telling people to follow the example of Jesus and start being bold enough to say, “follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” We need to be so in tune with Jesus in our relationship with Him that we become examples to those who wouldn’t know about Him otherwise. Telling someone separated from God that they need to follow Jesus, whom they don’t know, doesn’t make sense. Instead, we should challenge them, and ourselves, by letting them know that we’re determined to make our lives an example of Jesus and that if they want to know how He would deal with others, they should follow us. They may never see Jesus as we do, but they should see Jesus working in our lives and realize what a difference He can make.
Lord, this world needs to see how You would act in the midst of our confusion and sin. Let my life example be full of clarity and purity as I follow You. Give me the boldness to call people to follow my example, give me the strength to live as You would, and give me the grace to repent when I’m wrong.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.