Admired or Followed?

Being an example takes guts and integrity. You can’t tell other Christians to follow your example without being confident you are leading them in the right direction. There is too much at stake. Jesus tells us it’s better to be drowned than to lead others astray (Mark 9:42). When the apostle Paul tells all the churches to follow him (Philippians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 4:16), he is putting himself in the way of intense scrutiny from both God and man. This is the difference between a person who wants to be admired, and a person who wants to be followed. It’s the difference between a celebrity and a mentor. If all you want are admirers, it doesn’t matter how you live. You can be dazzling from far off. Your lifestyle is not the point because people are attracted to your status. You become a brand. When you want to be followed in your flawed efforts to imitate Christ, it is precisely the opposite. Your lifestyle is all that matters. You live among other people who see you for who you are. You are a person, visible in your moments of weakness. Status is irrelevant. This made Paul vulnerable and great at the same time.

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