Words from the Heart for Wednesday August 17th, 2016
Don’t Lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.
1 Peter 5:3 (NLT)
Leading By Example
Electricity, when used properly, serves our lives well. When misused, it can cause great harm. In the same way, power and authority is a good gift that is to be used to help people flourish. How do you use the influence you have? Are you helping others to flourish and grow?
On his blog, Canadian author Ted Barris tells of attending the 45th Annual Lloyd Chadburn Squadron Mess Dinner, a military event in Oshawa. He says this: “When I’d arrived at the Lviv Ukrainian Hall in Oshawa, earlier in the evening, the atmosphere seemed like so many other military mess dinners I’ve attended. There would be a banquet dinner, a toast to Queen, recognition afforded some in attendance, and time allotted for me to address the audience. The evening would follow a certain protocol. But then something happened. A teenage cadet, Sgt. Muskaan Singh made the toast to the squadron’s namesake – Wing Commander Lloyd Chadburn. She read the biography of the decorated fighter pilot (killed in action in 1944) as if she were reading the eulogy of her grandfather and concluded with “We, the future of the squadron continue to exemplify Lloyd Chadburn, ‘leading by example.’”
It’s amazing to think that a Canadian war hero who was killed in action 72 years ago is still leading by example. There is a good lesson for all of us here, and particularly those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear that we are to live our lives in such a way that we are a good example to other Christians, as well as those who are not yet followers of Jesus, but who for sure are watching us. The Apostle gives some great advice in 1 Peter 5:3: “Don’t Lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.” Every one of us is an influencer. There are those who watch us and will want to follow our example, for good or bad. While it is true that people in some positions in life have a greater responsibility when it comes to this – leaders, teachers, pastors – all of us are influencing others in some way. We are called to be careful in how we speak, act and counsel. We live in a day when what we say and do easily gets spread all over the world through the Internet and we are regularly advised to be careful about what we put online. But our children and grandchildren are watching us even when aren’t aware of it. Let’s be careful today and always to lead by example.
These have been words from the heart.