Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) –Philippians 3:17-19
Mahatma Ghandi said,”I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” How sad! Ghandi said he would have become a Christian had it not been for Christians. That is a horrible indictment against those who profess to Christians, yet live like the world. That continues to be a problem to this very day.
C. H. Spurgeon once said, “A man’s life is always more forcible than his speech. When men take stock of him they reckon his deeds as dollars and his words as pennies. If his life and doctrine disagree the mass of onlookers accept his practice and reject his preaching.”
Dr. Paul chappell wrote: “Sadly, many people in our world only see Christianity through the lives of Christians. They will never take time to read the Bible, much less study the life and teachings of Christ. What they know about God is simply from how you and I act. Isn’t that a scary thought? Someone right now is watching your life and is forming an opinion about God from it.
—- too many Christians are unlike Christ. Many Christians claim the name of Christ yet act as if they do not know Him. Their lives do not line up with God’s teachings. How are the unsaved supposed to see Christ if Christians aren’t living like Him?
Notice the Apostle Paul’s admonition —, Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample (Philippians 3:17). Because he lived according to God’s Word, he could encourage others to follow his life. He used his life to point others to Christ.
If someone were to ask you what a Christian believes and how a Christian acts, could you point them to your life? Would your life serve as an accurate representation of the life of Christ? This is not to say you must be perfect. Even the Apostle Paul had faults and shortcomings. But he didn’t let those failures keep him from pressing on for Christ, and from compelling others to come with him.
Notice how Christ led His disciples. He did not merely tell them how to live; He showed them by living that way Himself. Just as Paul encouraged others to follow his example, so Christ encouraged those around Him to follow His lead in obedience to His Father.
People do what people see. If others see you living as a Christian one day, then living like a lost person the next, how will they know how they are to live? What example are you showing to others? Imagine you were a lost person. You (the lost person) tagged along to watch how you (the Christian) acted all day long. What would you think of Christianity? How would your view of God change?
Whether you realize it or not, you are setting an example for others right now. People are watching you; lives will either be turned to Christ or away from Him. Today as you go about your day, make a conscious effort to consider those around you. Remember that they are watching. You don’t have to be perfect, but follow God in each area of your life and encourage others to follow Him as well.”