As the year comes to an end, many of us will consider how we are going to manage a new year. This often includes following some new plan of action. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 we get the perfect instruction on who we should follow:
1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
In this text, “to follow” means to come into being or to acquire a certain characteristic. The word “example” means to imitate. Therefore, Paul is encouraging his audience to copy or imitate his behavior. Paul was reminding them that he did not require of them something he himself was unwilling to do. He reminded them in verses 31-33, that he sought to please everybody in every way. Of course, he did not carry his service to the point of sin. He sought to serve others because he was not seeking his own good but the good of many so that they may be saved. Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand that they should not selfishly parade their freedoms in such a way as to hinder the gospel or to offend the weaker brother or sister in Christ. First century teachers often used this method of training their pupils.
Paul is also teaching us that we need to develop a holy standard of living that glorifies God at home, at work, in the community, at church, at the gym, and even at our children’s ball games. This standard of holy living should also be one that we practice before we prescribe it to others.
But, what was the standard of living he was asking them to follow? Paul was asking them to copy or imitate his behavior as he copied or imitated Christ’s behavior. As followers, we owe much to others who have taught us and have modeled for us what we need to know about the gospel and holy living. Therefore, we should continue following the good examples of those who have invested themselves in us by investing our own lives in others.
Paul says follow me as I follow Christ. But, how do we do this. Unfortunately, we have too many voices in our heads, with too many competing values and views. We allow the government, professional athletes, Hollywood stars to influence us. We are confused, and we are confusing people. To combat this onslaught, we need to become like the silk worm. They have their silk colored by the leaves on which they feed. Therefore, if we were to feed on God’s word, and nothing else, we would have our minds colored by the word of God. This would cause us to become purer in our thinking, holier in our living, meeker in our conduct.
Once our thinking has been altered from a worldview to a biblical view, then we will be able to practice a holier standard of living which then will represent Christ more than we previously did in the 2018. So, this year I encourage you to plan to follow the leader - who led a life that leads to live. You will find that you will live a more productive and God-honoring life, which will make this year a better year than last year.
Happy New Year!!!