Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:9 (KJV).
Throughout generations, it can be agreed that History is quite synonymous with the word ‘EXAMPLE.’ This is because as human beings we would always require a kind of illustrative precedence or guidance to follow to help chart out our life course.
The word example on its own may mean any of the following: a). A thing characterized of its kind or illustrating a general rule. b). A person or thing regarded in terms of their fitness to be imitated. Simply put, an example is something or somebody that is being illustrated or exemplified.
A very striking realization is that an Example as a term of action may turn out to be good or bad. If an example to follow is good, it increases man’s productivity towards achieving excellent living results or conditions. On the contrary, if it is a bad example, it reduces the ability of man or society to achieve anything of excellence.
Hence, follow-up questions we may wish to ask to help us explore deeper what this whole aspect of example may have for us and how to effectively use it for our benefit are as follows: 1. What examples can we follow? 2. How and where can we obtain such examples? What examples can we model for the wellbeing of our lives, the lives of those around us, and posterity? 3. Which of these kinds of examples can we model for the wellbeing and prosperity of our lives, as well as the lives of those around us.?
In answer to the first question, we notice that it is one of intense self-reflection. This is a time to reflect and ponder about what we think we want from life and begin to look to follow the kinds of examples that will bring out our desired goals. If we look inwardly, man always desires the good or fine things life has to offer, this is a fact, no matter how terrible a person is, there is still a deep desire to have a good life. For example, everybody wants to be in good health, afford good food, experience a long life. We desire peace of mind, have healthy relationships – to love and be loved, be accepted in our different social circles, have decent and affordable living conditions and the list goes on. Sadly, most of these fineries a lot of the time evade or elude us, why? The reasons for such evasions stem from bad examples of bad habits picked up over time.
Question two comes out very strongly as a prompt. We are prompted here to take a drastic step of having a mental shift and to consider a new line of action. The first part of this question – the ‘how’, directs us to i. Acknowledge the source of the bad example i.e., if we have been subject to one ii. Take a careful note of the products or fruits derived from such examples, especially their adverse effects on our lives. iii. Make a conscious decision to drop such examples. iv. Go in search of good examples to follow. v. Diligently pursue such good examples.
The second part of question two, which is the ‘where,’ for most of us is usually a critical crossroad, a moment of decision which comes after you have searched, researched, inquired, and explored your findings, but most of all you do not want to make a mistake. At this point whatever we consider is crucial to making the right decision. Most of the thoughts we may have will come by way of ‘Wonder or what If” questions e.g., I wonder what this decision will bring? What if this decision is going to be bad for me? If I take this route, what resultant effects will it produce, will the result be that of life or will it bring about death, blessings, or curses? Deuteronomy 30:19 presents these options, but the good thing about this Bible passage is that we are encouraged here to choose life and blessings.
Finally, our answer to question three points or directs us to our Bible verse for today, which explicitly tells us what examples to follow and model. These are examples laid down by God in His Word written in the Bible. The Apostle Paul encourages us to follow and emulate the precedence laid down in God’s Word and look to those who are diligent in obeying and living out God’s Word in their daily lives and to emulate these people.
Furthermore, the good news is that these words are truly geared to produce excellent and lasting solutions for peace and the well-being of our lives, society, and posterity.
So, are we the good examples that we wish ourselves to be? This is a question to ponder on and strive towards.
When we start walking in the examples God our Father presents in His word, we will begin to experience the full manifestation of the confession – ‘Thy Will Be Done on Earth, As It Is In Heaven.’
Ebimobo W. Obasi
PLEASE PRAY ALONG:
Align my Heart!
FATHER GOD, please show me how to put Your words into practice today. Please help me to be more of a doer of your word, and not just a hearer or talker. LORD, please give me the Grace to be a good example of your word to those around me and posterity. Align my heart with Your heart, and my thoughts with Your thoughts. Show me how to draw near to You in every area of my life and make me eager to obey Your commands and teachings. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN!