Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it’s the only thing. Albert Schweitzer said this, and I couldn’t agree more.
One recent afternoon, I arrived home from the grocery store. I was loading up my arms to carry everything in with as few trips as possible. It’s odd, but this 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 hasn’t been a time in several years that I have carried in groceries this way and not thought about Brailee.
Even today, as I went up the steps, arms loaded down, I was taken back to a few years ago. Again, I saw the image of little Brailee at five-years old.
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!” “What?!” She asked, “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 this truth, He continued to reveal more to 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 mimic what they see us do. Our action or our example speaks louder than our words.
If your children see you carrying baggage, they will often carry baggage too. However, if your children see you taking your burdens to God, then they will learn a 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 only apply to children.
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 all imitated Christ? Then those around us would imitated us, as we imitate Christ? What a powerful world that would be!
Jesus Himself said; “I only do what I see my Father do.”
Our actions are important. The example we portray is vital. Choose daily to be a good example to those around you. And remember, your children, your family and your friends are watching what you do, much more than what you say.
We owe it to those around us to be a godly example to follow. Let’s not teach those we love to carry baggage. Let’s not display anger or bitterness or unforgiveness. Instead let’s teach others to lay their burdens at Jesus’ feet. Let’s emulate love and forgiveness and mercy. Let’s choose to always see the best in others…let’s be an example worthy of following. Follow me…only as I follow HIM.
Meditate on this:
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12