Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
I am continuing on a journey to think about and investigate leadership. The point is to refine my own goals and ways so that I can be a better leader for the cause that God has put in front of me.
There are several passages in the Bible that stand out to me as keys to leadership, growth and some sort of pattern to follow. The verses above are one of those for sure. I have thought about the first verse for years, and several of the other verses stick out as well.
Paul said, “follow my example” or “pattern your life after mine”. Both translations seem a bit arrogant to me. Who is this guy that that thinks his life is above others or has more meaning than the people he is speaking to? Paul was an incredible man who a huge testimony of what God can and will do in our lives.
Yet any person that suggests that others should pattern their life after his has several things happening in them. First of all, this person has huge self-confidence. Don’t get me wrong, but this is a tough balancing act. Some people go too far, think to high of themselves and even miss God. Others don’t think high enough of themselves.
God gave us value. He has placed potential in each of our lives. It is ours to discover what He has placed in our lives. Paul knew that he was seeking God with all that he had in his life. Therefore, Paul could with a clear conscious ask others to join him on the journey of faith that was in front of him.
Second, Paul points to the important thing that changed his life. That was and continues to be the cross of Christ. That was a fixed point in history that changed Paul’s life and changes others as they experience it. Some people miss the cross and are headed to destruction. Others focus on the cross and allow their lives to count for Christ in big ways. Paul did that.
And finally, Paul shows us that we can make sure our lives are fixed on heaven, seeking Christ while on earth all the while allowing our weakness to be replaced or overlaid with the grace of God. God’s power through our lives changes us and changes others.
Great leaders make much of Christ and pursue Him with all they have all the while asking others to join them. That is just what I am doing today. I am not perfect, but I am pursing Christ. Join me. Join others who are on this journey, and may we see God do more in and through us than we can do on our own!