Everyone Is An Example

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)

Make no mistake about this biblical truth: Your life . . . my life . . . everyone’s life . . . will serve either as an example to follow or as a warning to avoid. As one who has served as a coach for decades, I am always saddened when I hear high-profile athletes insist, “I am not a role model!” The truth is, they may not want to be a role model, but they most certainly are to someone who is watching. The very same thing can be said for everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. 

Did you know that you are the only Bible that some people will ever read? They may know nothing about the 66 books of sacred Scripture, but they know a great deal about the life they see you living out before their eyes. And because you are a disciple of Jesus, the way you live is what they come to believe about the Jesus of the Bible.

So the question that needs to be asked and answered is this: Is your life serving as an example to follow or a warning to avoid? 

Let me make something perfectly clear: I am not suggesting that you are to live a perfect life. Only Jesus did that. You and I live every aspect of our lives imperfectly. We all do things we ought not do, say things we ought not say, and think things we ought not think. What I am talking about is the desire to live a life that is pleasing to God, knowing full well that it will never be perfect on this side of the grave. 

Let’s look at the apostle Peter, who was one of the three disciples who were closest to Jesus. Peter’s life was far from perfect! He denied our Lord three times and later refused to eat with Gentile Christians, an error that earned a sharp rebuke from Paul (Galatians 2:11-14). Yet the life Peter lived serves as a wonderful example of what it means to live for nothing smaller than Jesus, even while living it imperfectly.

Every great saint in Scripture and in history books had their share of blemishes and warts. Paul frankly admitted that “The evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19). But all those flaws just make these people more real to us. Even when others don’t see our shortcomings, we are painfully aware that they are there, just as Paul was. We know when we do not measure up. And yet, in spite of all our imperfections, God has chosen us to put the Gospel on display to a watching world. Remember, God uses imperfect people because that’s all He’s got to use! 

So let me ask you: Have you considered the example you are setting for those who are watching you? When you mess things up, confess it and ask for forgiveness from God and from those you have offended or hurt. Then get on with life! As much as it is within your power, live that life for the good of others and the glory of God. 

Everyone is an example; what kind of example are you?

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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