What it Means to Live By Example

Living by example can be a tricky thing to do as we each have our own ideas of what that lifestyle actually entails.

Fortunately, I’ve managed to pin down 3 characteristics that are necessary for every person for anyone who strives to live by example.


Firstly, to live by example means to live selflessly.

At first glance, selflessness appears to be an impossible virtue to live by as living selflessly in a selfish world like ours appears to be a recipe for disaster.

Yet as I’ve discussed in my post on selflessness, living selflessly is less about giving of yourself until you have nothing left and more about loving yourself responsibly so that you can love others generously.

Just as we would want to be shown love and kindness in our deepest moments of need, so too should we do so for others.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:4


Secondly, to live by example means to live wisely.

There isn’t any argument that wisdom doesn’t make life better for those that are fortunate enough to have it.

Yet as I’ve discussed in my post on foolishness, believing that you are always right and therefore have nothing more to learn or be taught is a crucial step in not only living by example but in living any form of good or desirable life.

The ability to reject your previous ideologies and preconceptions and pursue justice and truth is the only means by which anyone could hope to correctly pursue wisdom and more aptly live in the best way they possibly could.

Just as we would respect those who reject lies and pursue truth, so too should we do so for the sake of living by example.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 12:15


Finally and most importantly, to live by example means to live righteously.

Righteous can simply be expressed as both the willingness to reject sin and the willingness to pursue the image and love of God.

The pursuit of righteousness alone is a journey in which you will not only find the things that you know you need to live a joyful life (friends, family, property/possessions) but also the principles and virtues that will help you better love and appreciate those aspects of your life so that they will only grow and live rather than decay and die out.

Living in pursuit of the image of Jesus Christ removes the destructive hold of sin in your life and replaces it with the constructive possibilities of a version of yourself that can not be defeated by anything in this world and is capable of anything that you set your mind too.

When you live for God alone, living becomes loving and life becomes miraculous.

Therefore, just as we would we want our neighbors to live in spite of the evil in their hearts and in pursuit of the one thing in life that is truly perfect and absolute, so too we should we do so for the sake of living by example.


Though there are many more aspects of living by example that each of us as individuals should pursue in light of the callings we have in life, we should all, while pursuing those things, should take care to pursue selflessness, wisdom, and righteousness as well.

For at least in pursuing those things, we can be certain we are living upright lives


This is 30 Days of Growth: Day 15

Thanks For Reading.

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