You are the example. The question is “of what?”
I tweeted the above quote from our pastor a few weeks ago. It’s thought-provoking, isn’t it? You are the example…but, the example of what?
There is always someone watching you – your kids, your neighbors, that guy in traffic who cut you off only to drive insanely slow, a stranger in Chick-Fil-A. Sure, they’re not all necessarily looking to follow your example, but they are noticing.
We’ve been studying the book of Timothy at church. Timothy is Paul’s instruction letter to Timothy on how the church is to be run. Because we who are followers of Christ make up the body of the Church, it stands to reason that Timothy also gives instruction on how we are conduct ourselves.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
Yes, Paul was talking to Timothy, but the words apply to all believers – we’re supposed to set an example. Our pastor correctly pointed out that we often let the world set the example.
“That person does this and he’s still a Christian, so I can do that.”
“Well, at least I’m not as bad as so-and-so.”
Christ didn’t call us to follow the world’s example. He called us to follow His example. We should be setting the bar, not playing limbo with society’s.
Whatever I do, Christ should be the model by which I measure my behavior. My blogging should be Christ-honoring, my parenting should be grace-based, my interactions with others should be mercy-filled.
As we begin school today, I want to keep these thoughts in my mind because my children are looking to me as an example. They’re looking to see how important my faith is to me in my daily life. They’re watching to see how I deal with frustration. They’re taking note of how I treat their dad, their siblings, and even strangers we meet.
I want to make sure that I set the bar by Jesus’ standards – not Hollywood’s, not my friends (though most of them would make pretty good role models), not society’s, as a whole, but Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. –Titus 2:7-8
You are the example. Make sure your model is worth replicating.