Lead by Example
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
-1 Corinthians 11:1
At every stage of life, there are different temptations to staying true to the Lord. As a college student, I’ve noticed that temptations have increased drastically compared to high school. There are nightly parties, common alcohol and drugs use, and our faith is constantly challenged in the classroom and in dormitory life. We must constantly put on the armor of God to battle these temptations (Ephesians 6:12).
As Christians, what does this look like? How can we stand out when it seems like everyone else is giving in, whether this is in high school, college or the work place? According to Scripture, we must train ourselves to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7). Christ gave us salvation as a free gift by dying on the cross, but obtaining godliness is different. We must pursue it. The Greek word "to train" is gumnazo, which is where we get our word gymnasium, so we must train ourselves spiritually like we train ourselves physically: every day. We must get into the Word, even if it is a struggle, and God will bless that time.
Also, as Christians, we are called to set an example to others (1 Timothy 4:12). Paul discusses through multiple letters that we as believers should imitate him as he imitated Christ: "Follow my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you," (Philippians 3:17). Think about your own life for a moment. Could you say, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ?" What a bold statement! We must prayerfully consider how the sin in our lives is hindering us from showing Christ to others. For me, I know I would not want the students I mentor to imitate my pride at times. What would you not want others to imitate about your life?
When evaluating ourselves, we must remember that, as members of the body of Christ, we are not only representing the Fellowship of Christian Athletes but, more importantly, the Lord. And in light of this, we must make a stand for Christ. I challenge you to truly evaluate your heart and where you feel like you are right now, then compare that to what Christ calls us to be.
Be excited! You are on the Lord's team, and He wants you to fight to be different and to be examples to others exactly where you are. And no matter what you do need to change in your life, He has the power to make that change a reality. You simply need to seek and obey Him, then let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
1. Who is looking up to you? Would you want them imitating every part of your life?
2. As Christians, what areas of Scripture do we tend to “cut out,” in order to fit in?
3. Do you train more for your sport than you train in the Word of God?