What does the Bible say about Being an Example?

1 Timothy 4:12

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

Titus 2:6-7

Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Philippians 3:17

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.

Matthew 5:14

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

How should one live their life?  This is a question that can have many different answers depending on who you talk to, but if you asked someone if they thought that people should live their life as an example to others, I’d imagine that not too many people would answer no.  The Bible seems to clearly indicate the importance of people living their lives by example for others to follow.  Why is it that it seems like so many people don’t though?  “Do as I say, not as I do.” It’s a phrase that I only use sarcastically because I am not a huge fan of it.  We ought to be living our lives in a way that people want to follow.  One of the easiest forms of intake for learning is through example.

I have two wonderful nieces whom I adore.  I can tell the qualities that they have picked up from their parents.  Their parents did not necessarily teach them to act the way that they do, but they have followed the model of their parents from watching them.  This same process is how we often learn our first language.  We acquire language from observing how it is modeled in the home.  These are not isolated examples of something that only happens with young children.  It still happens as we get older.  We spend enough time with other people, and we begin to pick up their habits.  The same applies to our faith.  We begin to emulate and imitate some of the qualities of more mature Christians.  We follow examples.  That is something that is simply hard-wired in us, and that is okay.  It simply means that it is something that we need to watch as we will begin to imitate what we observe a lot. It also means that we need to be careful of how we live our lives because whether or not you agree, people will come along and look up to you.  This means that you should be an example of someone who is living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Live as an example for others to follow as you are following the example of Christ.

The Bible gives us a clear indication of how we ought to be living our lives, and it even contains real historical figures for us to imitate.  None of these figures are greater than Jesus who was God in flesh on earth who gave a perfect example of how to live for God.  We ought to be Christ-centered Christians who are following this example that He left.  This means praying, spending quiet time in Scripture, pouring into others, teaching others, and so much more.  Also, look to some of the other figures in the Bible who also provide great examples of what it means to be a Christian as there is much to be learned from them as well (even though they were sinners like us).  There is also great value in talking to more mature Christians to help us grow.  They can pour into you, and they play an important role in person Spiritual Growth.

The word of the day is imitar (to imitate).  Who is someone that you look up to?  How do they live their lives?  What are some of the characteristics that you emulate?  What are some of the characteristics of another person that you have begun to imitate?  Do you have someone who looks up to you?  Are you living your life as an example of how a Christian should act?  What are some ways for a Christian to act? Share your thoughts in the comments, and share the blog with a friend.


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