“So that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe” (1 Th 1:7).
The Thessalonians’ roadmap to growth so far is quite instructive: from receiving the Word with joy of the Holy Spirit (v6), to becoming followers of Christ (v6) and to becoming examples to all who believe (v7).
Beloved, it’s one thing to be a good follower of Christ and quite another to be a credible spiritual model. Being a good follower demands teachability, humility and loyalty, among other things. You excel as a follower by watching well.
On the other hand, you excel as a model by leading well. Living as a spiritual model requires a sense of excellence, courage and responsibility. You know that your life is not your own. You’re heaven’s showcase and the exemplar of morality in a corrupt world. For you, freedom doesn’t mean frivolity. You’re not reckless with your beliefs and behaviour. You live boldly, consciously and responsibly. You’re aware that always and everywhere you go, you’re under observation. You know that God counts on you and I to model His light and love in our generation (Mat 5:13-16). You’re the only heavenly contact someone in your circle of influence will ever have. Don’t ruin their destiny!