For Such A Time As This

Maximizing everyday moments to glorify God

What example are we setting?

on March 13, 2014

 “Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:6-8 (NIV)

In a recent meeting, the conversation suddenly took a spiral in a direction that was both unprofessional and degrading. As a newcomer to the group, it caught me off guard and I think I was in a little bit of a state of shock. The target of the discussion: me.

I was uncomfortable and upset. But I didn’t respond. I think I was too surprised to rally any productive thought capable of changing the direction.

Afterward, I started feeling angry and indignant. How dare they? What in the world gave them the right? My inclination was to march right back to them and demand an apology, as well as give them a piece of my mind. I am a Christian, I thought, and they know it. That alone should preclude that kind of thinking.

Instead, I decided to ask Jesus to help me process it. It’s funny. When you ask Him and really stop to listen, you’ll be amazed at how readily He will speak. And He spoke.

He started planting some seeds into my thoughts. Am I demonstrating what I profess? Is Jesus evident in my actions and words? Am I walking the walk or just talking the talk?

Honestly, the answer is not always. Angry words slip out. Impatience plays into my thinking. I allow frustration and worry to seep in.

Every day, there are choices and decisions that will take us one direction or the other. The path of righteousness is not an easy one. There are times when the road of compromise looks easier, more enticing, exciting. But, if I’m going to follow Christ, I have to learn to recognize those pitfalls and ask Him to help me take the right steps.

When we are able to do just that, we become an example for others. Just as Paul taught in Titus, our faithfulness to follow the Gospel will influence our behavior. How can it not? If I am truly allowing the Word of God sink into my heart, my heart will change and become more like his. My actions, then, will begin to reflect His character and not mine.

I concluded that while I may have been the target of the conversation, it really wasn’t about me. I’m choosing to use it as a lesson that I need to be even more aware of reflecting Jesus in every situation I’m in. It could be that other person’s only opportunity to see Him. And, more importantly, He may use that interaction to stir in someone’s heart and that could lead them to salvation.

That’s more important than anything.


One response to “What example are we setting?

  1. Dan says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful words Patti. Your right, its much easier for me to become a good example for others when things are going well…much tougher when I’m challenged with difficulties. I continuously pray to be virtuous in good times and bad. God’s continued blessings to you and your family!

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