“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9, NASB).
What greater way to teach than to model or be an example of the lesson you are teaching! But, when you set yourself up an example, it requires an extremely high level of accountability and responsibility.
Paul preached the gospel to the Thessalonians and he did not ask for any financial support or remuneration from them. In fact, while he was with them he worked and paid his own expenses as he instructed them in the truths of God’s Kingdom: “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:7-8).
There’s no better way to tell somebody about Jesus than to be a living example of His saving grace. But it’s a huge responsibility because people are listening to what you say and then observing how you behave, act and react. They are watching to see if you walk the talk, live the faith!
Because they may pattern their faith after your faith.
So, let people see the difference Jesus makes in your life so that He can make a difference in them!
And then be a faithful example of your faith.
Be imitators of me. (1 Corinthians 4;16, NASB)