“You’re a role model.”
I’d never thought of myself that way. I was young but a worship leader at a church. My pastor was telling me to be careful in how much I “let my hair down” in group settings by reminding me that I was—in fact—a role model.
I’m not here today to debate the merits and demerits of his approach; I’m here to talk about being a role model. If you’re a Christian, do you see yourself that way?
In our ongoing journey through 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul gives us this in 1 Timothy 1:15-17:
15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 1:15-17, NIV
Verses 15 and 16 provide a brilliant summary of mission and purpose of Christianity. Jesus entered the brokenness and hopelessness of our world to “save sinners”. This was the reason Jesus came. It wasn’t the only thing He did, but it was the purpose of His mission.
With no other reason but love, Jesus laid down His life for those who were His enemies. It’s not the width of His love moving us to worship, but it is the depth. We are sinners and completely unworthy of redemption. If we know the depth of our depravity, then we can agree with Paul: we are the worst of sinners.
But like Paul, the redeemed receive mercy when we deserve wrath. Yes, it is because of God’s love, but this also speaks to the purpose of Christianity: “so that…Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (verse 16).
When someone turns from death of sin to life in Jesus, it not only saves us but can lead someone else to life in Jesus, too. Imagine that: we’re role models!
If Jesus can save me, He can save you. If He can save us, He can save others. If His grace is enough for us, it will be enough for others.
Think about that as you go about your day today: your life in Jesus shows others the “immense patience” of God towards you. Even when you fail, it shows others how God’s mercy and grace carry you through it.
In moments of pain or praise, we join in the Apostle Paul’s doxology of verse 17: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.” Showing others His mercy revealed in our lives brings Him glory. It continues the mission of Jesus to our world.
“Amen”! We agree and may it always be this way in our lives.
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Interested in more like this? Consider my book: 31 Days of Spiritual Wisdom: A Month in the Proverbs. Moving through a selection of verses from a chapter of Proverbs for every day of the month, I walk readers through a journey of spiritual formation applicable to everyday life. The goal? Knowing how to apply the wisdom of Scripture so we grow in our faith, become wiser, and show the world the life-changing power of Jesus.