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Walking the runway

I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love. (John 15:10)

If following an example wasn't above Jesus, why do we think we can live independent of the examples God provides in our lives? Jesus reminded us he loved as his father loved him - he followed the example of what it was to truly love without condition - the way God loves all of us. He modeled unconditional love when he wasn't put off by the leper coming up beside him, or being touched by the woman all considered unclean and impure. He modeled that same love when he endured the beatings, was spat upon, and made his way willingly to the most brutal death you could imagine. He wasn't afraid to model - but he also wasn't afraid to follow a very solid and reliable model. Maybe the importance of modeling isn't fully understood by us, but I will admit it is oftentimes easier to do something when I have observed someone else do it first!

Isn't that what modeled behavior is anyway - someone else doing what we need to do ourselves, leading the way for us to understand how it is done? Even fashion models who glide down a runway, showing off the latest in fashions, turning this way and that? They are showing us how to wear the fashion, what it looks like on a living human body, and how it will accent certain features of our bodily framework. I am not 'model build' by any means, but I know the value of a living, breathing example! That dress looks so much different on a living model than it does on a store mannequin! The chance to see how it moves with the model and where it accentuates certain parts of the human frame gives me an indication of how it will really 'perform' in action.

The models of God's love that are given to us might just be provided because God knows we need to see how love really 'performs in action'. We could read all about love in the Bible, but that is like looking at the dress on a mannequin - we get the idea of what love is supposed to be like, but when we see it in action, up close and personal, we get a much better idea! Jesus tells us love was (and still is) modeled in each of his actions just as God the Father would love. I have to ask - have you observed this same unconditional love in others? If so, you have been privileged to see love in action so you can learn to love in a similar manner. In my realm of work, we have a phrase - see one, do one, teach one. In other words, see it modeled/done; then model/do it yourself; and be ready to teach someone how to do it next. Love unconditionally and see if it doesn't catch the interest of those around you - because when they see something that 'fits the frame' so well, they will want it for themselves. Just sayin!

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