Dr. Tonya Lewis discusses three ways we can be a positive example to others: with our speech, with our actions, and with our lives.
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY
Talk, talk, talk! It is much easier to say things – whatever they may be – than to actually do them. It doesn’t take long before others become weary of the talk we’re proud to use to influence them. We forget that “talk is cheap.” Instead of talking about it, we must “be about it.”
How many times have we missed the blessings and the good we could have been experienced, if only we had done what we talked about? When it is all said and done, deeds impress us, rather than words. In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul penned,
“…Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
To be means that effort will have to be applied to produce the results of being. We must demonstrate Godly qualities in every area of our lives; for who we are will be exhibited in every area of our lives. For instance, if we lie to our employers, then we will lie to others. We must therefore practice being trustworthy in what we say, and in the way we live. Our outstanding and credible character should precede our names. Our words and lives should be so respectable, that those around us would hastily run to our defense when others accuse us.
Love is an action word; therefore, our lives must be full of loving actions. Some questions to ask ourselves:
- How do we react to the pain of others?
- How do we express our compassion, encouragement and support of others?
- Are others enriched because they have interacted with us, or are they, instead in a reduced state after interacting with us? 4. Do we encourage trust and patience in the love of God, or do we project worry, doubt, and fear: both to others and to ourselves?
If our Father is the Great God of the Universe whose very essence is love, then we must reflect His loving essence in our own lives. Our confession of faith in God must be genuine; it must be demonstrated beyond Sunday morning services, and impact what we say to others and to ourselves.
ARE YOU HOLY?
We don’t want to just proclaim holiness; we don’t want to live questionable Christian lives. We want to be holy and God-like in all that we say, do, and believe. How we live and show love should clearly associate us with the Lord in the eyes of others.
God requires us to be examples of His glory – both to believers and to unbelievers – for our actions do positively or negatively influence others. 1 John 3:7-10 (NLT) says,
“When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.
YOU ARE A LIVING TESTIMONY
We should desire for our lives the evaluation of Joshua 22:2-3,5-6:
“He told them, “You have done as Moses, the servant of the LORD, commanded you, and you have obeyed every order I have given you. 3You have been careful to obey the commands of the LORD your God right up to the present day. 5- But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the LORD your God, walk in all His ways, obey His commands, hold firmly to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” 6 So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went home.
For this to be the evaluation of our actions, we must obey God. By being a positive example to others, we benefit them as well as ourselves. As Kingdom Citizen Representatives, let’s utilize every opportunity to be a positive example for the glory of God.
Photo, courtesy David Pugh.