Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. (Paul’s letter to the Phiippians, chapter 3, verse 17)
One of our most ancient arts is casting, that is, the use of molds into which some liquified material is poured, allowed to set or cure, and then removed as a solid replication of the mold. The mold, by necessity, is a work of art in itself and is able to be used over and over to turn out replicas. Lifecasting is the art of taking molds directly from the human body. It is an ancient art form dating back to the time of the Egyptians where body casts were made as a means of transport to the next world.
One of the words used for mold is the Greek word tupos, sometimes translated as here in Paul’s letter, “example, model”. Paul is urging his friends in Philippi to beware of false teaching that leads to wrong living. But first he encourages them to imitate him and replicate the model he and his team have set for them. They are the positive “mold” into which the Philippians may pour themselves to ensure they come out in the form desired by Jesus Christ.
Have you ever noticed that you become like those with whom you spend the most time or those whom you idolize or respect? We have a proverb, “Bad company corrupts good character,” from the Greek poet Menander and quoted in our own 1 Corinthians 15:33 by Paul. Paul is stating the corollary here in his letter to the Philippians. Good company casts good character.
We need Christian casting. We need not only teaching about how to live the Christian life, but molds into which we might be poured. We need people with whom we might “hang” who know how to live for Christ and become our tupos, our example or model, and show us how to live. This means we need to become tupoi (plural for tupos) ourselves, casting for other Christians who need a model or mold to fit into.
Are you in need of a Christian model? Find one and hold on. Do you need to become a Christian model? There has never been more need for Christian casting than today.