Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. -1 Corinthians 11:1
I was talking to my brother the other day on the phone, as I often do, and he told me that someone was at his house shadowing he and his wife during their work day to see what they do. This got me thinking, “what would happen if someone followed me all day?” Would they be encouraged? Would they be inspired to be more like Jesus? Would they want to be a better husband and father?
That’s kind of a weighty thought isn’t it? We post the highlights of our lives on Facebook and Instagram and get plenty of likes and loves, but what would happen if we were followed 24/7, 365? Could we say boldly as Paul did, to “follow [our] example, as [we] follow Christ?” Does my life look like Christ’s? I thank God sanctification is a process. I have not arrived, but I’m better than I used to be.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel like you quite measure up. We all have highs and lows. We all have days we wish we could do over or erase all together. The point is, are we progressing? Are we growing? Are we becoming more and more like Jesus every day?
My daughter was watching one of those old Hanna-Barbera Bible cartoons this morning. They were showing the crucifixion of Jesus. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure out how to be a parent, so maybe showing my 3 year old Jesus being crucified isn’t exactly age appropriate, but nevertheless there it was. She turned to me and said, “daddy, why is Jesus in timeout?” I made a feeble attempt to explain to my daughter that He was going through that because of our disobedience. I’m sure the concept didn’t land. However, it was a good reminder for me today. Jesus went through far worse than “timeout” so that I could stand before the Father one day, sinless, spotless, without blemish…He did that so that I could be like him.
Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
So, for all of you who are in Christ, the next time you get discouraged, the next time you feel like a failure, remember that you have been crucified with Christ. Your old man is dead. You have been raised to new life in Christ… “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” -Philippians 2:13