Young Man, Young Woman: Set An Example

I was always lousy at painting. In my high school art classes the teacher would give an assignment that involved studying a car or a human form or a bowl of fruit. Our task was to observe and then paint. I would do what she said. I would look at it, I would study it, I would observe its form, its curves, its angles, its colors, its shadows. But when I put brush to paper it would never look like …

Set An Example: Don’t Surrender To Low Expectations

Last week I kicked off a new series that I’m writing with younger Christians in mind—high schoolers, college students, people just getting started in the independent life. In the opening article I introduced our key verse: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). I explained that “set an example” is a term related to the world of art and that …

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Set an Example in Your Speech

A few weeks ago I was in Cambridge, England, participating in a writing tour and workshop. We had one afternoon to ourselves and since I was not feeling particularly creative in that moment, decided to explore the town. I happened across a museum and, since it was free, thought I’d take a look. I wandered through exhibit after exhibit, admiring ancient and medieval antiquities. My time was nearly up when I came to one final room which held a collection of paintings. …

Do You Set an Example in Your Conduct?

Today I want to scare you a little. At the very least I want to intimidate you. Actually, I want the Bible to scare and intimidate you, to set a challenge so difficult that you’ll know you can’t possibly meet it on your own. This is a challenge for any Christian, but I’m directing it particularly at younger Christians, at people in their teens or twenties. I’ve been working on a series of articles that takes a look at some …

Be a Living Example of God’s Living Love

Art comes in many different forms. Visit a museum or art gallery and you may see sculpture, pottery, calligraphy, and, of course, paintings. Though each of these is beautiful and valuable in its own way, the Bible commends another form of art, one that is more important and more enduring. It is a living art. Francis Schaeffer said, “No work of art is more important than the Christian’s own life, and every Christian is cared upon to be an artist …

Do You Have the Faith to be Faithful?

Children are mimics. Children are mimics because human beings learn by imitation. We learn to speak by hearing our parents speak. We learn to do dishes by watching mom and dad do dishes. We even learn to love (or not love) Jesus by seeing our parents love (or not love) Jesus. In both vice and virtue, children will begin to look like their parents. Parents quickly come to realize the importance of setting a good example, of being worthy of …

Set an Example in Your Purity

There is a lot to love about the Bible. I could go on for hours about just how amazing, just how unique it is. The Bible offers us something so different from what we get anywhere else, something so opposed to our all-too-human expectations. When we live by the Bible, we live lives that are completely, radically counter-cultural. Today I am wrapping up a little series I’ve written with younger Christians in mind—people in their teens or twenties, people in …