Posted by: William | January 1, 2008

My Poor Example

Recent events I have participated in call to my attention my own inattention to care in my actions, especially when I’m before others. The poor example I and the church have been, shames me today and reminds me of my inadequacy and the utter uselessness of my flesh apart from the care and influence of an extremely patient, loving God.

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” This passage of scripture is dealing directly with love for our “enemies.” Those who don’t know God are at enmity with God (Romans 1:30) and are therefore in a sense, our enemies. We are no less commanded to love them; but as scripture says, we will be “hated by all nations because of [Jesus]” (Matthew 24:9, John 15:18). We are commanded to imitate God in his perfection both to the glory of God and for the sake of our enemies; those who do not know God yet, that they might be saved.

Later in scripture, in 1 Peter 2:12, the Apostle Peter exhorts us to “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse [us] of doing wrong, they may see [our] good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” Scripture is pretty waterproof when it comes to our holiness; there is no good excuse for any kind of sin, and there is even less excuse when amongst unbelievers. And as for us, even when we do not explicitly sin ourselves, it would be better for us to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around our neck than to cause another to sin! So we must watch ourselves! (Luke 17:2-3)

We are aliens in this world; this is not our home! (1 Peter 2:11) Yet why do we insist on not living like it? There is no room for drinking, carousing, joking, laughing, frankly living at all, when it advertently or even inadvertently lends approval to the sin of another; whether they are believers or not. Is the worst we stand to lose our comfort in the moment, our satisfaction in our recreation? Or maybe at worst the laying down of all these things could lead to a shorter sojourn on this earth; but in light of our adoption by our glorious father, is that even truly a draw back? I contend that it is not.

I am ashamed of my own conduct, for which I repent and beg that God would have mercy on me and on those whose feet have been lead astray by me. I pray that we, the church in our young generation, would vie earnestly for holiness at whatever cost; it would be better to die than to sin or cause another to do so!



  1. Thank you for your blog “My Poor Example”–it really hit home with me. I appreciate your thoughts and references to God’s Word and TRUTH. Great things to ponder now as we begin a New Year–for me it is a time for a transformation and being better then last year or even yesterday. My desire is for my conduct to reflect God. Of course in my strength–it is impossible but with the strength of Christ–all things are possible. My hope is that others would see me as different. Together we forge on running hard after is the only race worth running.
    Blessings & Happy New Year!
    “TRUST steadily in God, HOPE unswervingly, LOVE extravagantly.”
    1 Corinthians 13:13 (The Message)

  2. A pastor once referred me to Ecclesiastes 1:18

    For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
    the more knowledge, the more grief.

    Luke 17:2-3 proclaims it would be better to die than to push/goad/entice someone toward death (to sin). I believe that is just what you (and I) have done… we agreed with this and have put to death the sinful nature. We have been crucified with Christ and the men we once were no longer live BUT Christ Lives in us. (Gal 2:20). Yes we sin. We repent (die to ourselves). And ultimately, we return to fall in love with the one within.

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