The Gift of One Another
Don't you remember, dear brothers, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled and sweated to earn enough to live on so that our expenses would not be a burden to anyone there, as we preached God's Good News among you. You yourselves are our witnesses - as is God - that we have been pure and honest and faultless toward every one of you. We talked to you as a father to his own children - don't you remember? - pleading with you, encouraging you and even demanding that your daily lives should not embarrass God, but bring joy to him who invited you into his Kingdom to share his glory.
And we will never stop thanking God for this: that when we preached to you, you didn't think of the words we spoke as being just our own, but you accepted what we said as the very Word of God - which, of course, it was - and it changed your lives when you believed it. 1 Thessalonians 2: 9-13 (TLB)
Remember your leaders who have taught you the Word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and try to trust the Lord as they do. Hebrews 13:7 (TLB)
Jason Koon is from North Carolina. His son is barely four years old, but everything about him - from the clothes he wears to his brand new "big-boy haircut" - reminds Jason of himself. On Sundays after morning worship, he confidently strides onto the stage to join me and bang on my drums. You can see clearly that he wants to be just like his dad.
We sometimes can be hesitant to emulate another person too closely. Maybe we're nervous about idolizing another person, or we're terrified at the thought that someone may be looking up to us! However, we may be missing out on one of the greatest gifts God has given us for our spiritual growth - the gift of one another.
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul commends the church for imitating more mature believers, who put their trust in God's word. Mature believers imitate God, and by emulating mature believers we can mature in faith as well.
As we walk the path of faith together, we need not be afraid to find someone we can look up to just as Jason's son looks up to his father. We need not be afraid to follow the example of the faithful role models God gives us - the ones who imitate Christ. As we walk arm-in-arm with other believers, together we learn to become like Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Lord, surround us with people who can help us grow closer to you. Then help us to lead others in the way that leads to mature faith, in Jesus' name. Amen.