Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. ~Philippians 3:17-19 (ESV)
Life is about imitation. Even as time and experiences shape our own unique personalities, as we learn and grow in this world, much of our education (in every facet of life) comes through watching and imitating. This is true physically, academically, and spiritually.
Life is about imitation and leadership is about influence. All of us are influenced by and influence others. Paul knew this well, so he called for the church to be influenced only by those who would lead them in their faith in a Christ-honoring direction.
Then, even with tears, he warned them against the corrupt influences. These were the “enemies of the cross”—those who are in the religion business for personal gain and/or those who corrupt others by calling good what is evil. Paul said the end of such men and women will be destruction. The same may very well prove true for us if we fall under their influence.
So, we’re to be guarded about who influences us and who’s example we follow. Fix your eyes on those who provide a godly example by staying faithful to God’s word, the gospel of Jesus.
New posts from this devotional series in Philippians will run most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.