What Example Are You Following?
We learn our behavior from the world around us. Culture plays a big part in all of our lives. Depending on how we were raised and where we grew up, those ways of life have been imprinted into us. However, all of these ways are the world’s way. Have we stopped to evaluate if they are God’s way? He is the best example we could hope for in how to live and walk in this life. Maybe we were taught how to walk with God in the ways we were raised, but the world has a tendency to creep in. We must be ever on our guard, coming back to His example and making sure we are following Him. Ephesians gives us very simple instructions on how to live by the example Christ set. “He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” (Ephesians 5:2 MSG)
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV
“Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Everytime we think a thought, speak words and take action these are each opportunities; opportunities to be refined by God and live wisely. It is our choice to invite Him into our lives and hearts in each of these opportunities. We would be wise to do so, since the “days are evil.” Whether or not we choose to take each of these opportunities to Him, instructs us how to strive in life. Are we careful in how we live? This is a question we must ask ourselves often and frequent. God should be our example for how to live. Through Christ’s life we can see how everything He did was measured and tempered by going to His Father in Heaven. This is how we can live wisely. By going to God in all that we do. This is also how we keep ourselves in the light and out of the darkness.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:11-16 NIV
A Story of Seeking His Example:
I take a lot of pride in my contributions to my family. Up until recently I equated my contributions to how much money I could bring to the table. This level of measurement always left me feeling like I came up short.
I think much of this pride has been driven by equating my self worth to the amount of money I could make. I suppose it also equated to how hard I worked. God has been walking me through the most difficult humbling process. The moment I feel worried that I am not contributing enough I go to Him for validation in what I am contributing.
This practice of learning to go to Him instead of relying on my own understanding of what self worth is has been transforming my thought process. Worry and fear do not come into my life as often. I recognize that everything I am and have is because of Him. I choose now to praise Him over looking at earthly examples of what I should be doing. His example makes me feel whole.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.
Considerations for your planner:
- Write down who you learned your behavior from. Do these examples exemplify God?
- What opportunities are you bringing to God today? Write down where you can invite God into your life today.