Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

A Good Example

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At the end of 2 Corinthians, Paul encourages the congregation to “examine yourselves.” In the book of Philippians, he says to “work out your salvation.” The focus throughout much of Paul’s letter is what we can do as individuals to bring about positive change in our lives. Religious people are sometimes known for telling other people what to do with their lives (This criticism is sometimes true, but other times it is an exaggeration), but our main focus should be on our own lives. Why? It is not because we are not concerned about others. We are, and we should seek to share Jesus with as many people as possible. We need to focus on our own lives because that is the life we have control over.

In the book of 1 Peter, we are reminded to always be a good example. We are to be a good example in a culture that does not acknowledge God (1 Pet. 2:11-12). We are to be a good example while living under a government that does not share our values (1 Pet. 2:13-17). We are to be a good example while working for someone who may be mean or even abusive (1 Pet. 2:18-20). We are to be a good example when married to a spouse who is an unbeliever (1 Pet. 3:1-2). We are to be a good example by imitating Jesus in our lives (1 Pet. 2:21-25). Peter never advises us to protest, argue, or criticize those around us. Instead, we are to focus on our behavior and actions so that someone may ask us about the hope that is in us (1 Pet. 3:15).

By striving to live a Christian life we are caring for others by imitating Jesus in their presence. This is likely to have a greater impact on them than any critique we may offer. It is easy to point out the flaws in someone else. It is much more difficult to change our own lives to look like Jesus, but this is exactly what we are called to do. We cannot change the behavior of another individual simply by screaming louder at them than they are screaming at us. We can change our own behavior, and we can greatly influence others by loving them and showing them the blessings of living the Christian life.

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