March 19, 2017
What Example Do We Set?
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. – 1 Peter 5:2-3
A number of years ago, my health was such that I needed to use a cane all the time. One day, when my granddaughter was at my house, she decided to play pretend games. She picked up a broomstick and started hobbling along, announcing she was Nana.
At first I was dismayed—this was not how I wanted her to remember me! I began to think about what I did want her to remember me for, and as I watched her, the Lord reminded me of my own grandmother. She would read me Bible stories and pray with me, and I never heard a sharp word from her. I am sure she had physical problems too, but I did not see that. What I saw was someone who daily walked with Jesus. I saw someone who showed me that she could have peace in the storm. That is what I want those watching me to see.
There is a saying that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” It means that we have great influence on the children we raise. Our children are watching us; they will learn by our example. So what example are we setting for them? Do they see that we make time every day to talk with God? Do they assume that a meal cannot proceed until we have thanked Him for our food? Did they learn from us that when we earn a dollar, ten cents of it belongs to Jesus? These are the practices that we hope our children will not only imitate, but will, with God’s help, also realize their importance. What a blessing it is when that happens!
Children are not the only ones who watch our lives. Everyone we come into contact with—even strangers—could be quietly observing the way we live, and they need good examples too. They especially notice the way we act and react when we think nobody is watching. Let us strive to follow the example Jesus set for us, and in so doing encourage others to do the same.