The Power of Example
Some of the world’s top squash players used to practise at the squash club where I play. I remember well the first time I saw at close hand a high-level squash game. It was the son of one of our regular group of players, who at the time was ranked number 11 in the world. He came to practice at our club with the world number 2.
We all watched in amazement. We had never seen anything like it. In fact, if that was ‘squash’, what we played should be called something else!
Watching them always raised our game. Suddenly we realized that it was possible to return practically any shot your opponent could serve you, however good they were. We saw how important it was to get back to the middle of the court after each shot. We watched how deep they hit the ball. We noticed the shots that they avoided playing.
When we went on court after that, we astonished ourselves by how well we played. Of course, we did not play anywhere near as well as them. But, inspired by their example, we played a whole lot better than usual.
During my Christian life I have found the same pattern. For example, I had the privilege of working for Sandy Millar for nineteen years. Through watching his life and hearing him preach I was always inspired by his example. Even though reaching the level of those who are examples to us might not be possible, hopefully it inspires us to raise our game.
A Christian is someone who believes in Jesus, puts their faith in him, knows him and lives ‘in Christ’. It is also someone who follows his example.
There is no greater example in human history than the example of Christ. Paul writes, ‘Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
1. Example of your life
Proverbs 20:5-14How you live affects others. You look to others for an example. Others look to you as an example. This happens whether you like it or not.
Nowhere is this more the case than with parents and children. I have noticed how many of my father’s eccentricities I seem to have picked up. Of course, parents provide examples in more serious ways too: ‘The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them’ (v.7).
Parents who live lives of integrity bring great blessings to their children. Billy Graham said, ‘Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.’
No one has ever lived a perfect life apart from Jesus: ‘Who among us can be trusted to be always diligent and honest?’ (v.9, MSG). Nevertheless, we can all seek to live a life that is a good example.
Parents need to demonstrate faithfulness to each other, treating one another with patience and respect, resolving disagreements with grace, supporting one another in hardship and not being drawn into inappropriate relationships with other people. ‘Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?’ (v.6).
Today’s inspirational articles shared from the following website: www.bibleinoneyear.org
No widget added yet.