Paul can be really confusing to read sometimes. Dr. Harold Bryson, one of my professors at Mississippi College used to always joke that we preachers like to preach on Paul, not Jesus, because Paul was hard to understand. He said Jesus wasn’t hard to understand, He was just hard to follow.
There’s nothing confusing about loving your enemy. It’s just hard to do!
One of the more interesting books to read in the Bible is 1 Corinthians, because when you read it, you see Paul going through so many different emotions with the church in Corinth. He gets angry. He gets frustrated. He loves them. It runs the gamut.
Today he says something amazing in 1 Corinthians 4: 14-15. Listen to what he says:
I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.
He says; if you want to see what a Christian does, imitate me.
If you want to see how a Christian lives, watch me, and do what I do.
If you want to follow Jesus – follow me.
Wow! Those are big words. Can you imagine going out to the world and saying – he y’all, you want to see a Christian? Watch me.
Wow, that’s a big and bold statement. That’s what Paul tells the church. I have a theory as to why he said it, though.
He said it, because it was reality. It was what was already happening. Whether he said it or not, the church was going to watch him to see what they should do. To see what a Christian should do. To see how a Christian should act. To see whom they should be.
And today, in our lives, the same thing is going to happen to us. There are going to be eyes watching us. Seeing what we do. Seeing how we live. Listening to what we say. Following us.
Seeing if our lives match our words. Seeing if what we say about Jesus matches what we live about Jesus.
Today, folks will be watching us.
Today, what will they see? Today, may what say about Jesus match what we live about Jesus.
Today, folks will be imitators of us. May with our lives, may we set for them an example of what a Christian should be.