Did you ever have your parents tell you any of the following?
- You needed to be an example to your brother or sister.
- They are watching you.
- If you don’t do that, neither will he/she.
- Show them how they are supposed to act by how you act.
- They are younger than you so you have to show them how to act.
I don’t know about you, but I can remember wanting to ask my parents to look for someone else to show them how to act. It kind of makes me giggle a bit now, but I didn’t think it was funny then!
So what is it about us being an example that our parents hoped would carry over into our adult lives? Do you think they really thought WE were the only ones that would set an example to our siblings? I think it was an early lesson in taking the high road in situations where you wanted to react quite differently. I looked the word “example” up in the Vines Dictionary and it said, “a thing shown, tracing, writing copy, to make a show or expose, to teach, to show by example. Acts 20:35 , Jesus talks about giving us an example to follow and that He showed us what that example looked like. Let’s explore that idea a bit.
We have countless areas where we can be an example. We are always watched by someone. The saying that we might be the only Jesus someone sees? That is so true and so we want to be authentic in how we live. It’s not about the “appearance” of how we live, or what we show people through a Facebook status, or putting on our best face for Sunday mornings. It is about living as Jesus would live everyday. Jesus sees all. That means that when we are trying to put forth something we are not, He knows! We aren’t fooling Him! We can’t be an example without His help and we daily need to ask Him to show us how He wants us to be the example of Him in our daily walk.
So back to our parents…I think they already knew this when they asked us to be an example our brothers and sisters. They knew that one day, that we would have to on purpose live for Jesus with all its hits along the way. And when I share some of those thoughts with my grandson, Ethan, I kind of smile and say to myself, “Thanks Mom and Dad for your Godly guidance of how I should live.”
You have power and influence and you may never really know how much. But people ARE watching. Bosses are watching, people you live with are watching, and so are you kids or grandkids. They are forming life opinions based on yours. Will you join me in this challenge of being authentic and honest in how we live out our days, whether at home, with friends, church, on the job, or in social media settings?
I hope that as I run this race called life, that I can look over and find you in the next lane running with me toward that ultimate prize!