The power of a good example
Years back, my wife decided she needed some help getting into shape, so she struck up a conversation with a guy named Brian who attended our church. Brian was a personal trainer. Not only had we heard good things about him, we could tell from how he looked and from the kinds of things he ate, that he lived what he believed. When Mindi began workouts with Brian, she had no doubt about it! He was merciless! Over the years, Brian is one of many people who has demonstrated to me the power of a good example.
A good example is important to me. I don’t want to hire a personal trainer who weighs 350 pounds and eats monster cheeseburgers for breakfast! I want someone who has credibility, who’s done what it is that I’m wanting to do.
Why is there power in a good example? At least 3 reasons…
- A good example shows us what is possible
- A good example provides motivation
- A good example encourages us
The power of a good example… in the Christian life?
For some reason when we move into the realm of spiritual things, this whole issue gets a bit fuzzy. Christians are uncomfortable at the thought of actually having to be an example for somebody else. Maybe they’re controlled more by a sense of failure and need than they are by the grace given to them in Christ.
But you will get an even stronger reaction from Christians if a fellow Christian actually DOES put themselves forward as an example.
People who say such things don’t realize that the scriptures not only speak about the power of a good example, but encourage Christians to be such examples. One of the better known instances is Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians that they follow his example as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). But there’s a TON more…
- IMITATION – 1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Hebrews 6:12; Hebrews 13:7
- EXAMPLE – Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:12
Does it bother you to hear a fellow Christian hold themselves up as an example? Do you feel like they are being arrogant, proud, or boastful? If so, why weren’t the biblical writers being boastful in the passages cited above? I want to suggest to you, that if you’re bothered by those things, you’ve got a wrong understanding of what it means to be humble.
Humility is not a “poor-me-I’ve-got-nothing-to-offer-because-I’m-such-a-sinner” attitude. Humility is seeing yourself rightly, as God does. Practically, that means:
- If He’s given you grace, you are not proud to say so.
- If He has given you a particular set of gifts, you are not boasting to openly speak of them.
- If He has provided you with wisdom, you are not being arrogant to confidently apply that wisdom to the situations you (or others) face.
I said all that to say this…
The LORD has graciously given my wife and I a good deal of insight into what it takes to make Christ the center of our home… and we can help you make Christ the center of your home. The fruit of our home shows it to be true. That’s not bragging… it’s the humble testimony of what GOD has done in our lives and the repeated testimony of many other people. One of those people, a member of the church where we serve, gave that kind of testimony about us at a recent celebration our church had of its 25th anniversary.
Like I said at the beginning… if someone is going to help you g0 someplace you’ve never gone, they need to have some credibility. We do. Not because we are “all that,” but because the LORD is, and has done a very gracious and merciful work in our lives.
That is why you should listen to me.