Recently, my wife Kristi and I were away, and during our adventure I noticed two telling scenes that drew my attention to the need of each of us to step up and be an influential good example. One scene was a mom, with raised voice at someone in her group (I think it was her son), loud enough that the crowd around her could all hear her every word. She was obviously exasperated, and through I do not know the circumstances that brought her to talk so intensely or with such volume as she blurted out, yelling, “Stop YELLING, you are constantly YELLING, I HAVE HAD IT WITH…YOUR…YEEEE-LLLLL-ING!!! With her face red with intensity and a stern look that made me uncomfortable, she stomped off throwing her arms up in the air saying, “I just can’t TAKE your YELLING!” As I walked by, I gathered the kid she was yelling at had learned well from this teacher! It is true, our actions speak LOUDER than our words.
The other incident was as I was out for a run and during my interval walk (I use a run/walk method of exercise, run 3 minutes/walk one), I noticed a younger man stop and greet an older lonely man as they crossed each other on the path. The older man appeared grateful for the interaction as he thanked the younger man for the short talk. It was obvious the older man appreciated someone taking the time to interact with him. I smiled at the blessing of human kindness. I also noticed a young boy who was intently watching this interplay as well, and breaking free of his dad’s hand went up to also engage the older man. I could not make out all what the little boy said, but that old man was smiling from ear to ear. The boy ran back to his dad, the older man watching with a smile. as they walked on. As I passed the older man, he was still smiling and so was I as we exchanged greetings. That younger man’s good example was a much needed encouragement to the whole lot of us.
As I picked up to run, I thought of how much our world needs more of these good examples. It is far too easy to let the pressures of life push us to pop-off and continue the natural negative current. What we need is more of those influential good examples. Jesus put it this way…
Matthew 5:13-15 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
We are to be like seasoning to our world, bringing out its good flavor and sharing the preserving reality of God’s truth. In addition, we can be like that helpful light on a dark night by being good examples in kindness, helpfulness, grace, mercy, and love. In being good examples, we can share God’s goodness.
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Our good examples are needed because they encourage others. What if that younger man would have not bothered to engage that older man? Certainly the older man would not have been touched, but even more so, that little boy would have missed a valuable lesson that people matter. Now, I’m sure the little guy’s parents will caution him as to safety with strangers, but at least he saw a safe interaction.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
Titus 2:7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity
I wonder how much better our world would be if we sought to be more of a good example? Jesus is that good example in all aspects of life and following Him is a life changing pursuit.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man (Jesus) came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many
In the Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are recorded examples of Jesus’ interaction with others that not only blessed the people Jesus’ encountered, but had a great influence on His disciples and all those who would take in these accounts. Maybe even you!
Yes, this world needs your good example, not only to bless the people you encounter, but the rest of us who are noticing. I know I was influenced by that little guy. What about you?
Church is a great place to learn of Jesus. If you are not already connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches in either Los Alamitos or Garden Grove this week. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net .
Let’s be that good example our world, your world, needs.
Seeking to be that good example alongside you,