A Great Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Most of us learn from watching others. Whether it is learning a new language or learning to play a musical instrument, an example is way more helpful than just theory. As I watch my son during hockey practices, the coach will show an example of a drill that he wants them to do. He would skate around a pylon, go to the blue line, come back and get a pass back and shoot at the net. With the visual example, the kids are more easily able to imitate and try to develop their skills.
Paul considered himself as an example that should be followed if we are to follow Jesus Christ. That is a higher calling and means that he is a person with authority and is able to speak from his experience. If he didn’t have what it takes to follow Christ, then he cannot make such a bold claim. He also encourages the disciples to keep their eyes on those who live as he does. So, it’s not just the one person we should follow. If we see any great example from any other follower of Christ, we can learn from them as well.