Our Bible study class has been focusing on growing in our relationship with Christ. Last week, we talked about relational discipleship: investing in the spiritual growth of others. There are three main relationships every believer needs: a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy (or a few of each). The above verse is about the Paul in our lives.
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 11:1
Paul was an imitator of Christ. He strived to be like Jesus, and although he was still a flawed and sinful human, I think he came closer to that goal than most of us do! In this verse, he is boldly telling his fellow Christians– including us –to follow his example, because he was following Christ’s example. I think he understood the difficulty we sometimes have with trying to be like Christ, since Christ is not a tangible, touchable man standing before us. Yes, we can learn about him through prayer and through studying the Bible, and he is indeed always with us, but it is harder to imitate someone we cannot literally see and touch. So Paul sets an example for us.
Our teacher likened our spiritual maturity to climbing a cliff (not something I plan to do in real life!). We are all tethered together, and we all depend upon each other to reach the top. You need that person who has already climbed higher to help you continue your climb as well. We all need a Paul in our lives: a mentor. We all need someone who is farther along in their walk with Christ to help us grow in our own. I am blessed with a few Pauls in my own life. Do you have someone like that in your life? If not, I encourage you to seek someone who can be a Paul to you.
(Tomorrow’s post will be about the Barnabas we all need.)