Embrace – Being an Example by Lt. Betsy Clark
1 Corinthians 11:1
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
Here’s a secret: I’m afraid to have people follow me, especially in my walk with Christ. It terrifies me. The responsibility of showing others how to follow Jesus is overwhelming. I am constantly worried about letting people down, failing in my spiritual life, or leading people down the wrong path. But more and more, I feel God’s call to be an example, to allow others to follow me as I follow Christ.
The more God says, “Be an example!” the more excuses I find. What if I mess up? Isn’t it sort of arrogant to tell people to follow you? Can’t I still be an example by sulking in the background where no one will take notice of me? All are excuses, because Christ, the light of the world, has appointed us to bring light to the darkness. He has commanded us to share the Gospel with the lost, to help them walk in the light.
Growing up, my family frequently went camping. At night, we would all take one last trip to the bathroom in the dark. One time, we ended up with only one flashlight, which my brother liked to carry. This was fine, except he never pointed the flashlight on the path. Instead he was pointing it up to the trees – totally not helpful. The rest of the family was frustrated and my brother was eventually relieved of flashlight duty, because we needed to see where we were going.
When I choose not to be an example, when I try to hide in the background, I am choosing to shine my flashlight away from the path of Christ. And if I’m really trying to follow God, if I’m really committed to living my life for Him, I should be willing and eager to shine my light (meaning HIS light) for others to see. So I’m learning to embrace being a light and being an example. It’s still scary and I still get nervous about it. But I’m still trying, because if no one will shine their light in darkness, how will anyone find the path of life?
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