Be thou an example of the believers…
February 12, 2014
So says the Apostle Paul in 1st Timothy. But he doesn’t just leave it there. He goes on to add that the example should be found “in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim 4:12) In other words, in every area of life.
Paul knew that the best teacher of the gospel is one who lives it, not just one who speaks about it. Today we call that walking your talk or practicing what you preach.
Jesus definitely did that: he was the ultimate man of integrity. Wikipedia says that integrity is “a consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.” Doesn’t that describe The Master?
Jesus taught his followers through both words and works, how to be living expressions of the Christ he exemplified. He made plain that hypocrisy and self-righteousness were no part of his theology, but loving and healing others were. He held his disciples accountable for learning, living, and proving his life-message. And when they would have gone back to fishing, he reminded them of their commitment: that real love is in obedience.
I consider myself both a believer in and a follower of Christ Jesus. I am striving to have my word, conversation, charity, spirit, faith, and purity (to use Paul’s words) reflect – to the best of my ability – what that means: to show my love in obedience. It is often not easy, and I sometimes fail miserably. But I know that I must keep at it, in word and deed, so that I may be an “example of the believers.” Who knows? Someone may be turned to the healing Christ as a result of my life! There is room for all!
Mary Baker Eddy makes this pungent comment: “Are you willing to leave all for Christ, for Truth, and so be counted among sinners? No! Do you really desire to attain this point? No! Then why make long prayers about it and ask to be Christians, since you do not care to tread in the footsteps of our dear Master? If unwilling to follow his example, why pray with the lips that you may be partakers of his nature? Consistent prayer is the desire to do right. Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleeding footsteps, and that waiting patiently on the Lord, we will leave our real desires to be rewarded by Him.” (Science and Health page 9)
Go and be thou an example of the believers. Great blessings will follow – not only for you, but for all.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.