While I was on facebook the other day, a fb friend posted the lamest thing ever and what shocked me even more was all the comments their post got – in favor of what I found to be so lame and so very wrong. It left me asking myself some questions – not questions about why are we “friends” but questions about my their influence and impact over other people. And, that made me think about my influence and the example that I am setting as well.
More often than we’d like to admit we struggle with setting a goood example, or should I say, the right example – because we are fearful of how others respond. My friend posted their “lame comment” on facebook and so many others agreed, supported and thanked my friend for what they shared. But one did not – and that one person was mocked and made fun of for what they believed and how they responded. Eventually after several other posts, that one person with their different opion was met with something besides critcism & mockery. They were given a compliment by a mutual friend simply saying “I obviously don’t believe the same thing you do about this – and I do know what you believe – and everything you shared is definately true about you and because you live out what you say it gives me hope that what you say is could actually be true.”
Their example to just one person made a difference – because what they believed to be right and true, was something the lived out. They set an example to others about what they believed to be true. They pushed past any fear, rejection or criticism and they truly lived out what they believed to be true and the example they set was powerful enough to make a difference in the life of another person.
‘Anybody’ has the opportunity to influence ‘somebody’.
The example and influence we have on others is really important. We all end up influencing someone, in some way…
I believe that we have been created on purpose to be used by God to be an example to others and to see transformation and redemption happen in their lives. I am passionate about this. I believe that God wants to use your life to see others influenced and impacted for His glory. We have a calling on our lives to be great examples to others.
1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”
I believe that right now even, Jesus is pointing His finger at you and is calling you to be a Kingdom of God influencer and example setter. Too many people do what is easiest and we just go along for the ride. Too many people are just along for the ride. You can set a life-changing and life-giving example to others!
Be an example in…
…in what you say – your speech. With your words, be an example. With the things you say, be an influencer. Encourage & inspire; affirm and lift up. Choose this and live it out and you will be a radically different example amongst others in our world.
…in the way you live – with your life. Develop healthy and postive expectations of your self and of others. Check your expectations and make goals for living a life that truly matters.
…in your love – with your expression of love. May you be known for how you show God’s love and compassion towards others, not how judge their differences or short comings. Choose how you will be known to others by the way you choose to love them. Don’t confuse your version & vision of love for God’s love either or your example will suffer.
…in your faith – with your values & beliefs. Be passionate about sharing and living out your faith. Make spiritual growth a priority in your life and let God’s truth transform your life and your faith.
…and your purity – with your identity in Christ. Each of us have tremendous value. Stop compromising who you truly are a choose to be guard your purity. The more self-champions of the pursuit of purity, the better. Be an example of your values and identiy in Christ as you set an example with your purity.
Develop these things in your life. Look for others in your life who are passionately serving God and others and watch their example. Watch their speech, the way they live, their expressions of love and how they grow in their faith and how they guard their purity. See how they are seeking God and look for ways to point others to the Lord as well. Form accountablity amongst others in regards to the examples you purpose to maintain.
God will meet you right where you are at and He will raise you up to be the example and influence He desires you to be. We are not along for the ride. What happens in your community, at your job, and within your family can be influenced by your example. Be infectious with your example in what you say, how you live, the way you love, in your faith, and in your purity.
And when you live surrenderd to Jesus and you are example in your speech, with your life, in your love, by your faith and in your purity – you will be a tremendous example that others will choose to follow. Just remember – your example should point them to Jesus and be willing to say: follow me, as I follow Him!