17 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.Ephesians 3:17
Mr. Rogers said, “Look for the helpers”, while Paul said, “Look at me!” It is true that, as followers of Jesus, he is the only full-expression of the Father, that does not negate the fact that others may be effective witnesses and role-models as a less than full-expression. Paul is a wonderful example of just that.
But, let me turn this around for a minute because we are in Lent which is a season for self-reflection and repentance. What part of your life do you hope no one imitates? Not an easy question for sure. Maybe spend some time journaling on it or have a conversation with a trusted friend. While not easy – it can be helpful. For that question can clarify areas for prayer and change if done in the right spirit.
I am thankful for examples of Christ-centered living in my life. For not only have they shown me what to do but also what is possible. I am drawn to those who have lived quiet lives giving to others from their plenty and from their lack. For those who finish well and know when to yield to others. I am grateful for the people I know who have overcome, through the power of Christ, the challenges of addiction, hardships of past trauma, or renewal after a major failure. At some point in their story of change came a moment of clarity that God’s desire for them was to move through the issues they faced. And what was once hurtful to them became helpful to others to see what is possible through Christ’s power. While we may never say, “Look at me”, like Paul did. Don’t be surprised if that is exactly what happens. And know that someone, somewhere is thankful.