For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, labouring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.
2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 (NIV)
Read: 2 Thessalonians 3
Consider: In the previous post I introduced the idea of becoming a model believer, something that Paul advocates throughout his letters, to individuals as well as churches.
If you are like me you will often be reluctant to hold yourself up as an example for others to follow. This is primarily because we are conscious of our own weaknesses and failings. Despite this we are encouraged to look at all aspects of our lives to ensure that they reflect Christ appropriately.
The first area where as Christians we need to set an example is in our employment. Whatever your sphere of work – at home, in business, full or part-time, you have the opportunity to adopt standards of work that will clearly speak of your faith to others. This may be with regards to how conscientiously you work, how you use your employer’s time, personal integrity shown in all your dealings with people, or even the honesty you apply to your expense claims or tax affairs.
Many people fail to see that whatever they do is seen by others and sets an example for them to follow. Christians must be very careful the picture they paint of the Christian life as it can have one of two effects – it can put people off following Christ if they don’t see anything distinctive about how we live and act in society, or it can make them curious as to why we choose to live as we do. This means that our actions must match our words, but we’ll get to that in the next post.
Pray: Father, help us to be consistent in our witness for you. May our lives be good examples of how you want us to live in this world and may our actions be Christlike in everything we do.