And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
—1 Corinthians 11:1
In the Great Commission, Jesus gave the command to “go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19 NLT). But we cannot take someone any further than we have come ourselves.
Sometimes people who have been Christians for ten or twenty years are still spiritual babies. They haven’t learned to feed themselves spiritually. They haven’t become as mature as they ought to be.
Writing to believers in Colosse, the apostle Paul said, “So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ” (Colossians 1:28 NLT).
Some of us are not as far down the road as we should be as followers of Jesus. Yet we ought to be living godly lives to the extent that we could say, as Paul did, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NLT). In other words, “Follow my example.”
Maybe you’re thinking, “We should never ask people to follow our example. We should tell them to follow Jesus.” But that would be a cop-out.
Like it or not, people are looking at us as visible representatives of Jesus Christ. They are making evaluations about God according to the way that we live. Yes, it’s a lot of pressure. But it’s also part of being a disciple.
Being a disciple is walking with Jesus in such a way that you can say, “Follow my example.”
So, what if the church were filled with people just like you? Would it be a Bible-studying church? Would it be a worshipping church? And would it be an evangelistic church? What if everyone in the church walked and talked and dressed like you? What would the church be like?
Yes, we will mess up sometimes. But that doesn’t excuse us from being examples.