March 12
‘Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 11:1
Bible reading: Philippians 3:17-21 (Go to the Bible passage)
When someone summons others to follow his example, he wants to be a leader. But the desire to be a leader can be rooted in lust for power.
Is it not impressive for many children to see a minister or priest standing on an elevated pulpit, addressing the congregation in a powerful way? What certainty radiates from such a person. It is to be hoped that ‘being impressed by this’ is not transformed into a calling to be a leader of the congregation…
The Bible verse for today gives us a very different view of a leader. Paul called upon the congregation to offer their services to everyone at all times as he himself did, not out of self-interest, but to seek salvation for all (1 Corinthians 10:33). These were not merely well-sounding thoughts, no, Paul had set the example in this. And he did not take the lead because everyone would surely appreciate this. No, he did this because he himself had become a follower of Jesus.
And following Jesus, he had found his life changed and immensely enriched, more than he could ever have imagined! For in following the example of Christ, he had experienced how he was redeemed of his thirst for power, a thirst, that is so characteristic in the lives of those who did not yet find their refuge in God. After all, if we do not find our security in God then we must take care of ourselves and defend ourselves. If we don't do that in this world, we will be overrun!
But when the attitude of Jesus determines our life, we do not fear that others will take advantage of us. No, it will be our heart’s desire to be like Jesus, when He called out, ‘I am the way…’ to follow Him in our words and deeds. The we no longer wish to rule, but to serve. ‘We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world,’ Paul later described his following of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:13b).
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