To set a lofty example is the richest bequest a man can leave behind. Samuel Smiles
We can change others through example. Peace Pilgrim
A good example is always the best sermon, the most effective teacher. Anon
“Don’t do as I do, but do as I say do.” We hear this from someone who tries to give us advice, but is unable to follow their own advice. Many of us can relate to this, we know what we should do, but we seem unable to do it. We have the best of intentions, but we are rather lacking in our ability to “practice what we preach”. It is very frustrating to know what to do but not do it. Others are watching our example at all times.
Every one of us influences those around us. Everyone around us influences us as well. All of us are serving as examples to those around us whether we want this job or not. The more impressionable the person, the more we have influence on them. We can be a good example, a bad example, or some of both.
Those with children should be very conscious of their example. Words are one thing; our action always influences the most. Kids observe bad actions, bad habits, and see through the hypocrisy of words lacking action. Our children see clearly that we do not do as we say do. They ascribe to “actions speak louder than words”. Actions do speak louder than words to all of us. Bosses, politicians, teachers, officials, and preachers are always in the limelight as examples. Their shortcomings and failings are very much noticed by those they influence.
It is very important that we are well aware of the example we set. Directly and indirectly we are influencing and affecting lives all around us. It is a very desirable and wonderful thing to influence others in a positive way. It is good to make a positive difference in someone’s life and so very undesirable to be a negative influence.
In Utopia we would be living by the golden rule. We would always be setting the best example. Everyone would be a good influence on everyone else. The world would become a better place if we “practiced what we preach” and “did as we say”. Others are always watching and observing. The best way to be a good example is to do the right thing, make the best decisions, avoid procrastinating, be generous and kind, show good manners, and do the things we know we should to do. We would grow and develop and be good examples in the process.
Challenge: List the areas where you believe yourself to be a good example. Now list those things where you are not such a good example? What changes do you need to make to become a better example to young people or others who are important to you? What kind of influence do you want to be? Improve through self-discipline, doing the right things, making right decisions; one at a time. Become a good example to yourself and to others.
Wisdom: People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher or better than themselves. Tryon Edwards.
A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. John 13:14, 15
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
We are creatures of habits and influence. We become like that which we are around and associate with. This applies to young and old alike. Positive influences make positive differences and negative influences does harm to us. These things are profoundly true and tested. If we want to become a better person we should improve our influences and environment. The more we are influenced by God, the better our example will be.
Prayer: Help me to become a better example than I am. I can only do this through you.