“To be not only a professor but an example of the gospel.”
I read these words just a month ago, and my heart has been re-reading them ever since.
Truth be told, I’d make quite a decent professor at what the gospel ought and ought not to look like in others lives.
I’ve labored hard to get here and I hold in my hands the fruit of my labor. Hurt feelings, distrust, walls up, bruised hearts.
“Not quite like that, do it this way instead.” I think to myself and I speak it out loud. “Why this response, its not how it’s meant to be done.”
Our world might possibly be overrun with professors - and I’d make the cut for the head of the troop.
But think of the result - what does the professor accomplish in the end?
What if instead, we sought the later option presented? To be an example of the gospel with every breath we breath and moment we live.
Rather than the fault-finding, perfectionist. We could become the gracious, daily example of a different way to live.
And deep in my heart I want to retaliate - but someone must tell them! Someone must show them the error in their way!
But what if instead of all our thoughts on how we’re getting it all wrong, we devoted ourselves to getting more right ourselves?
What if the goal of our lives became less to make things right in others, and instead to demonstrate another way to live?
We become our best world changers when we run hard and fast after Jesus ourselves. And someday? You might find a whole team of runners following close behind you.
Never will it come by force, always will it come by a slow attraction stirring in their hearts for the purpose you’ve found - the purpose of following Christ.
So here today, I extend an invitation - be less the professor and more the example.
Be less the corrector, and more the life-giver.
Be less the fault-finder,
and be more the truth-seeker,
Christ-reflector that you and I were created to be.
Yes we need discernment. Yes it’s good to know the facts.
But one life madly in love with Jesus will bring about the transforming of other lives more than any Professor full of facts and data yet to be applied.