Be An Example
Paul about Paul and others:
“Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to
the pattern you have in us.” (Philippians 3:17)
Paul to Timothy: “Let no one
look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and
purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (1Timothy 4:12)
Paul to Titus: “Likewise urge
the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of
good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond
reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say
about us.” (Titus 2:6-8)
If we are committed to Jesus Christ, let us show others Jesus Christ in our
lives by the way we act. If we are committed to godliness, let us show others
godliness in the way we behave. If we are committed to being God’s people, let
us show others what it means to be God’s people in the ways we talk and act.
Are we perfect? Never! Yet, may our love for each other be greater than the
flaws we see in each other (Ephesians 4:32). That is the incredible love God has
for each of us. Though He accurately knows the flaws in each of us, He loves
enough to forgive. How can we be God’s children and do less than love each
other—even if we disagree?
I was recently reminded of how incredibly easy it is to be misunderstood. All
any of us can do is be sincere, honest, kind, and as consistent as humanly
possible. None of us will ever know how often brothers and sisters are compelled
to explain something we did or said. How can we repay such unknown but necessary
kindness? By being kind enough to explain when others misunderstand someone in
Christ. May we not doubt another’s Christian commitment to Christ because we
disagree with his or her convictions! May he or she not reject us!
Every religious group I have known understands how to squabble! Most can
squabble with genuine expertise! Rare is the group that has more expertise in
kindness and forgiveness than it has in squabbling. The secret in eliminating
squabbling is not found in controlling others—it is found in controlling
May we be a people wherever we are who know how to be kind and encouraging, but
who refuse to squabble. If you wish to be a striking example who cannot be
ignored, have the courage to be a kind person rather than a contentious person.
Such will never be easy, but it will consistently represent God well by
exhibiting godly manners!
When you deeply believe something, be consistent in your life with your faith,
but act like a believer in your interaction with others. In the first century,
Jewish and gentile Christians did that with gaps bigger than anything we face.
May we learn to be as patient as God and as gentle as Jesus. May our patience
and gentleness be reflected in our holy manners! May people consider what we say
because they are impressed with our lives of consideration! Being in Christ
results in our becoming a people of holy manners!
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 05 July 2007
Link to other
Writings of David Chadwell