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Pattern living

“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 One of the reasons that living the kind of life Jesus lived is so difficult is the shortage of good patterns. Of course many Jesus-followers are “doi…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

“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

One of the reasons that living the kind of life Jesus lived
is so difficult is the shortage of good patterns. Of course many Jesus-followers are “doing
their best” to live as he lived, but how many are giving newbies a pattern to follow?

Patterns are clear, obvious, and replicable. They have done the hard work of design;
they’ve taken the pain of trial and error out of the mix. Back when women used to sew, patterns were
sold. A seamstress would cut out the pattern and pin it to cloth that was then
cut out and sewn together. It was so
much more efficient to do that than to design and make your own clothes. My mom used to sew and Karen went to great
pains to make her own wedding dress.

If I am a new, aspiring Jesus-follower, where are the
patterns that I can replicate? Whose
example can I follow? To follow a
pattern, you have to be near it – near enough to mimic behavior. A few meetings a week is not enough to go
on. Spoken words are not enough – we
need to see lifestyle.

This is not an apologetic for some kind of legalistic,
automatic faith. A good pattern leaves
all kinds of room for embroidery. But as
we celebrate individuality, let’s remember that it flourishes best within
structure. Absent a pattern, all you
have is cloth rags.

Comment

  • “A good pattern leaves all kinds of room for embroidery.”

    i love that image! thanks for sharing this, seth.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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