2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, beloved, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from believers who are living in idleness and not according to the tradition that they received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, 8 and we did not eat anyone’s bread without paying for it; but with toil and labor we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you. 9 This was not because we do not have that right, but in order to give you an example to imitate.
Paul mentions the word “imitate” twice in this passage. How were Christians supposed to live in community? Do what Paul did. Giving people a flesh and blood example is such an important tool in shaping people, which Paul understood very well. I do my best to offer a good example but I know I regularly fall short. There is no such thing as a perfect example, but that’s okay. Sometimes what people need is not a perfect example, but a living example – one that sometimes gets it right and sometimes gets it wrong. Now that I can do!
Lord most of us reading this post are leaders in one capacity or another. Give us grace to live as a solid example to others, and come to our aid when fail to do so. Amen.