Setting an example

As I have met with people this last week I have seen the need to set an example for others, whether it be a friend, a sibling or especially your children. By your example you can witness to your faith or help people grow in faith.

So in John 13 Jesus tells his followers to love one another as he has loved us so that all people will know that we are his disciples. We live out our faith so the world can see Jesus.

However, we also live out our faith to set an example for other believers. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says to the confused and wayward church at Corinth, “follow my example as I follow the example of Christ”.

He doesn’t just teach them what to do, he shows them by living as an example. As much as I would love to think that the youth remember all my sermons or that my children remember all our time together in God’s word, the truth is they won’t. But the youth and my children will remember the example I set for them. They will be more influenced by how I live than the talks that I give. They will see what is most important by what I continually do and say.

Dear friends, this is true for all of us. We will set an example for the people closest to us by how we live. I especially feel this as a father. We are instructed many times to live out our faith, to set an example of life, speech and love. As parents we are to train and instruct our children but a big part of that is modelling to them the life, attitudes and faith we have, just like Paul did with the Corinthians so they can follow our example. Your children will not know how to live as a Christian just because you say you are one. We must set an example for them in how we live.

Our children and friends need to see our faith by what we do, not just what we say. I am learning this more and more as a father and learning more ways to live out my faith in front of them. Can I encourage you, please model to your children and friends your faith lived out in actions. Set the example you want them to follow, speak your faith but also live your faith (James 1:22).

And in all of this we have Jesus the author and perfector of our faith helping us, Jesus who set the perfect examples and gave us a perfect sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 12:2).

Chris Forder

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