These events happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did. - 1 Corinthians 10:6
Where can we look for examples of godly people, for heroes and heroines? The Bible! The writers of the New Testament often used examples from the Old Testament to stimulate us in holy living. But they also pointed out some of the bad examples as well.
We can learn from both the good and the bad. When Paul reminds his readers of what occurred “to our ancestors in the wilderness long ago” (1 Corinthians 10:1), he points out that the believers can learn from those mistakes. The records of bad examples are supposed to stop us from choosing a wrong lifestyle.
It’s not difficult to find bad examples if we just look around. Sometimes those in leadership, who are very visible, are bad examples. Leaders of government, public officials, educators, and especially church leaders ought to be conscious of the fact that their public and private morality should line up. Our leaders should be examples of what is good. But when they aren’t, we can learn how not to live. Bad examples do not give us license to sin, but they should warn us about the consequences of ungodly actions.
Bad examples should stimulate us to wholesome living in the light of Christ’s return. Bad examples can sometimes be examples that work for our good—showing us what we don’t want to be and what we don’t want to experience. We can begin by deciding to be a godly example to those around us.
For Further Study: 1 Corinthians 10:1-11
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.