“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it’s the only thing.”
Albert Schweitzer said this and I couldn’t agree more.
Tuesday afternoon I had just arrived home from the grocery store. I was loading up my arms to carry everything in with as few trips as possible. It’s weird, but it has always been my way. Instead of making ten comfortable trips, I make five, totally weighted down trips. My daughter does the same thing, as does my Mom.
There has not been a time in months that I have carried in groceries this way that I haven’t thought about Brailee. Even today, as I went up the steps, arms loaded down, I was taken back to a few months ago and the image of little five year old Brailee.
You see, she, her mom and I had gone grocery shopping. We were carrying in my groceries before we took Bre’s to her house. I had just deposited a load in my kitchen and was headed back to the garage for another load. I looked up and in comes little Brailee, arms loaded down. She had three bags in each arm, I don’t even know how she was carrying it.
I looked down at her and said ‘honey!’ She said ‘what? This is the way you and mom do it.’
Today, as this image came back to my mind, the Lord quietly and gently spoke to me.
He said, ‘did you know if your kids see you carrying baggage, they will carry baggage too?’
As I pondered on the words of the Lord and the truth He continued to show me, I was reminded that kids learn much more by example than by words.
Talk is cheap, our walk should follow our talk in all things. Kids may hear us say one thing but they will copy what they see. Our example speaks volumes.
If your children see you carrying baggage, they will carry baggage too. However, if your children see you taking your burdens to God, then they will learn the better way.
If your children see you yelling and screaming at each other, this is what they will mirror. However, if they see you sitting down, praying together and working things out in peace, they will grow up thinking that is the way it should be done.
This truth doesn’t apply only to children either. Pastors, your flock will handle things much like they see their leadership handle them.
Friends, if you’re are in the midst of a trial or challenge and you panic and start speaking negatively, those around you will do the same. However, if you stand firm, stay in peace and speak only what the word of God says, they will follow your example.
1 Corinthians 11:1 says; imitate me as I imitate Christ.
How much more peaceful and powerful would this world be if WE imitated Christ and those around us imitated us, as we imitate Christ? Much more, I dare say.
Jesus Himself said; I only do what I see my Father do.
An example is an important thing, make sure you are being a good one. And remember, your children, your family and your friends are watching, more…what you do…than what you say. May your walk line up with your talk.
We owe it to our children and everyone else that is following us to give them a good example to follow. Let’s not teach others to carry baggage. Let’s not teach others anger or bitterness or unforgiveness. Instead let’s teach one another to lay our burdens at Jesus’ feet. Let’s teach other to love and forgive and to always see the best in others…let’s be an example worthy of following.
Prayer for today: Father, I ask you to help me be an example worth following, for my family, my children and those around me. In Jesus name. Amen