Monday, October 22, 2007

Everybody's a Model

It's been a while since I last blogged. I've been particularly busy in recent weeks with church commitments, work, writing, recording and speaking engagements. Something came up recently that helped me and I thought would be good to share. Before doing anything, one good question to ask is this:

"Is what I'm about to do worthy of imitation?"

In other words, is this a model I would recommend others follow? Can I, with a good conscience, enthusiastically tell someone else to copy my example? If the answer is no, then it's probably a not a good idea to do it, even if the act isn't sinful in itself. This principle is alluded to in passages like 1 Cor. 11:1, where Paul exhorted believers in Corinth, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." (See also 2 Thess. 3:7-9 and Hebrews 13:7)

It seems simple, but it can be difficult to apply, given our tendency to act in sinful or unwise ways without considering either pleasing God vertically or setting an example for men and women horizontally. The sobering reality is that we are all modelling something, whether we realize it or not. The only question is whether it is a good model or a bad one. As we look to Christ, our ultimate example (and not only that, but thank God- our sin-bearing substitute as well!), may His Holy Spirit empower us to live lives that we could without hesitation encourage others to imitate.

grace and peace,


andrew travis pantazi said...

Wow, that is truly edifying to read the Word of God in 1 Corinthians, 2 Thessalonians, and Hebrews; and to see that it applies to me right now. Just before I read this I had started to look for something to distract me from what was going on rather than address the problem and work ahead of me. I can see how I need to start adjusting my lifestyle in order that I can answer the question that you posed in a better way. I pray that God will continue to sanctify me and continue to show me that His scripture is not just a mere fortune cookie but that it applies to my life daily. shai, thanks for sharing this with us.

soli Deo gloria,
andrew travis pantazi

Jenn said...

Thanks for this, Shai. It makes me think of the song on Phanatik's new one called 'Show Em Off'... Like... are we showing Christ in all of our decisions and areas of life ? Are we walking in a manner worthy of our callings ? Yes... much to ponder on. Grace and peace.

Michael said...

Wow. Thanks, shai. I've been thinking about this a LOT lately. Thanks for helping me see this even more clearly. Keep setting the example for others to follow. By God's grace, you are definitely a great example to imitate.

Grace and peace,