What Kind of Example are We Setting?

In the late 80’s, there were these commercials on TV that sought to fight against drugs. They were part of a campaign launched in the U.S. by Partnership for a Drug-Free America. And one that I remember, and still quote to this day, is a commercial where this dad walks into his son’s room with some drug paraphernalia and confronts him, saying that the boy’s mom had found it in his closet. And after the son tries to lie about it, the dad asks this question: “Who taught you how to do this stuff?” After a short pause, the son responds by saying,  “You, alright, I learned it from watching you!”

It’s crazy how much kids learn from parents and other older influences in their life. I’m haunted by that commercial every time I see my kids taking on one of my own bad habits. It’s in those moments where I see myself so clearly and realize they learned those behaviors from watching me.

The reality is, we are continuously being watched. Whether it’s by our kids, our siblings, our co-workers, or the neighbor across the street. We are always being watched, especially as Christians. People want to see how we’re going to respond or react to different situations. And it begs the question: What kind of example are we setting for them?

My family’s life verse is Matthew 5:16, which tells us to: “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” In other words, we’re supposed to live our life in such a way that our actions point others to Jesus. We’re called to be positive examples for those around us.

I know that I fail at this as much as anyone. However, one thing that has helped me improve is realizing that the light I’m called to shine doesn’t come from me. I’m currently in the middle of a little remodel project at home and part of that project involves installing some new light fixtures. I can’t just put a light fixture in the ceiling and expect it to shine. It needs to be connected to a power source.

The same is true for us. If we want to be people who shine the way Jesus calls us to in Matthew 5:16, we have to be connected to the source of that light. Jesus is the light. And we’re only able to shine in a way that actually draws people to the Him as we allow His Spirit to shine in and through our lives.

Again, what kind of example are we setting? My encouragement for us today is to plug into Jesus. Whether that’s through prayer or reading the Bible or spending some time singing and worshipping Him, tap into the source and LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!

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