Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. (Phil. 3:17)

THE EXERCISE CLASS WAS CROWDED as usual. There were lines of other students between the instructor and me, and it didn’t seem to matter to anyone else that I was in the class as part of my recovery from a heart incident. I needed to follow the instructor’s moves to get what I needed out of the workout. As the class started, I still didn’t have a clear line of vision to the instructor. But it didn’t take long to discover that while I couldn’t see the instructor clearly, I could see more experienced students right in front of me who seemed to be following the instructor’s routine without a hitch. I simply had to keep my eyes on them and try to keep up.

Sometimes first-century Christians had a similar issue, especially if they hadn’t directly encountered Jesus. They needed to know how to respond well to the thorny issues of Christian conduct to be healthy followers of Jesus, but many had never seen Him in action. Paul offered them sound advice: to look at the positive models around them as examples.

I couldn’t always see the instructor directly, but the more I watched and followed more experienced students, the better my health became. As the early believers kept their eyes on the mature Christians of their day, they became healthier in both faith and practice.

Keep your eyes on mature Christians you know who model sound faith.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves his wife, kids and their spouses, preaching, teaching, music, coffee, friends, and Nebraska football.