“Live an exemplary life.” (1 Peter 2:12, The Message).
Peter was transformed from a man of boisterous bragging to a man of quiet strength and grace. If Christ can do that to him, then there is hope for you and me!
The word exemplary means “serving as a commendable pattern to be imitated.” No pressure here, but may I ask what about your life as a follower of Jesus would others say is exemplary? What is it about the way you love and serve the Lord that is so commendable that others should imitate you?
If the question leaves you a bit unsettled, then that’s a good thing. Because it shows that you at least care.
Some of us may squirm out of false humility. “Aw shucks,” we reply, “why, golly, there’s nothing in me that even comes close to being like Jesus. Why, I’m just happy that my sins are forgiven and that by His grace I get to go to heaven.”
Oh, grow up!
Others of us squirm for more substantial reasons. We know two things. One, we are called to something better. And two, we are settling for less. There are things in this world that have subtle yet powerful hold upon us at times, and the weight of these lesser things draws our strength away from the higher pursuits.
Peter said, “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11 The Message).
Jesus wants to fill us each with His spirit, thereby making our lives exemplary. He wants us to be good friends, good parents, good neighbors, good employees, good employers, good people. So good, in fact, that even those who otherwise oppose us cannot help but commend our lives.
This is do-able. So. let’s do it!