A Good Pattern
by: James Tester
The Bible says in Titus 2:7-8; “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.”
The word pattern means model. It means guide. Paul was saying to find yourself a model or guide of good works, and set that pattern before you, then reproduce that pattern in your own life.
This word pattern is the same word that we think of in connection to a tailor or a seamstress. When they sit down to make an article of clothing, they have before them a model or guide to look at. They use that pattern to reproduce a similar article of clothing. The pattern must be right in order for the clothing to come out right. Everything hinges upon having the right pattern.
The word pattern is the same word that we think of in connection to a chef or cook. You must use a pattern or recipe in order to make a particular type of food. The recipe must be right for the food to turn out right.
The word pattern is the same word we think of when we think of making a copy on a copy machine. The original must be right if the copy is to turn out right.
That is exactly what Paul was saying in Titus 2. In everything you do, make sure you use the right pattern so that the end result will turn out right and so you will have the right results.
Let me give you a few thoughts:
1. It is not wrong to have heroes. I am a little sick and tired of people criticizing fundamental Baptists for having spiritual heroes. These same critics have NASCAR stickers on the bumpers of their cars, political stickers on the rear windows of their vehicles, and sports figure posters hanging in the bedrooms of their homes. They are the same ones to have Duck Dynasty figures hanging in their garages. Yet, they want to criticize us for having heroes. Recently, I heard a preacher criticize a church for putting a painted mural of their pastor and pastor’s wife on a wall of their educational building. They said that it was hero worship. I personally have no problem or issue with a church that loves their preacher and preacher’s wife so much that they put a painted mural on a wall of one of their buildings. What I do have a problem with is when someone redefines the word hero. There are several men of God of old that I greatly admire. God used them in great ways to do outstanding works in the ministry. The Bible clearly tells us to give honor to whom honor is due. These men are my heroes. I also have a problem with hero worship. Dr. Jack Hyles has been a hero of mine since I first heard him preach in December of 1986. I greatly admired him for his walk with God, his character, his ability to love and lead people, etc. He motivated me to do more for God. He inspired me and pushed me to reach my potential for God. I never worshiped him. I never forgot that he was just a man. It’s sad to say there were many who worshiped him. Dr. Hyles went to Heaven in 2001. I can name multiple ministries that have gone under since his home-going. I can name several pastors who either quit or resigned the ministry after Bro. Hyles died. I can name several churches that have given up on the bus ministry, soul winning, dress standards, Christ honoring music, etc., all because their hero died. That is hero worship.
Make sure that your hero is the right kind of hero. Every Christian needs a hero as a good pattern for life. Never forget that the right kind of hero will help you, and the wrong kind of hero will hurt you.
2. There is a good pattern for every good purpose. Find the pattern to copy that has the result you wish to achieve. For instance, if soul winning is the purpose you are seeking, then a great soul winner is the pattern to look for. If godly living is the purpose you wish to achieve, then a godly life is the pattern to look for. If a happy marriage is the purpose you wish to achieve, then a happily married couple is the pattern to look for. If managing your finances is the purpose you wish to achieve, then find a good steward of God’s resources as your pattern. The Bible says, “shewing thyself a good pattern…” You must have a good pattern in order to achieve a good purpose.
3. Make sure that your pattern is a good pattern. Remember that you will be a carbon copy of your pattern. If your pattern is wrong, your life will turn out wrong.
4. Everyone follows a pattern. Good or bad, everyone looks to a pattern for life. Everyone looks to someone or something. That is why the young people today are in a mess. That is why so many Christians are in a mess. They are copying wrong patterns. They have Hollywood patterns that they follow; they have the influence of the wrong type of worldly, ungodly music that they follow. That is why their lives are what they are – saved, but that’s it. On their way to Heaven – but, that’s it. They have become dirty vessels not meet for the Master’s use; all because of wrong heroes or the wrong pattern for life.
5. Everyone needs a pattern. We need the King James Bible. Unfortunately, most Christians do not even read the Bible. If they are reading it, they are not applying what they read to their lives. We need the right kind of music to encourage and motivate us. The music we need is the Christ honoring music that has been tested throughout the years. Not the worldly, contemporary, country music, rock and roll, rap kind of trashy music that a lot of Christians are listening to today. We need the right kind of friends; friends who encourage us to do right and to stay on the right path of life.
Here is what we need to do:
1) Only follow good patterns. Have heroes that you allow to motivate and encourage you to do more for God than you would normally do.
2) Choose the right pattern for your kids. Don’t let them choose. I know that sounds strict, but you are the parent and are responsible for training your children to grow up to live for God. You choose who their friends are. You choose what school that they go to. You choose the music that you want them to be influenced by. You choose their heroes while they are young.
3) Live in your Bible. It is the best pattern for life. Schedule your quiet time early before your day starts. Spend time in your prayer book then read multiple chapters from both the Old and New Testaments each and every day. Work at walking with God and choosing a good pattern for life.
Triad Baptist Church