Dr. Dennis Demuth
Paul writes, “Brethern, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk as ye have us for an ex-ample ( Phil. 3:17).
Paul encouraged Timothy to be an example to other believers “in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Dwight L. Moody said, “A good example is far better than a good precept.”
How Effective is Your Example?
The famous medical missionary and author, Albert Schweitzer, stated clearly the importance and power of example: “Example is not the main thing in life—it is the only thing.”
All of us have been influenced by a significant person in our lives. For me it was my youth pastor, Peter Ko-shell. All of us can point to a particular person in our earlier lives who had a powerful impact on us by their powerful life. Think of the influence of Pastor, Billy Joe Daugherty.
Throughout Scripture we have examples that we can follow: Joshua’s fidelity, the courage of David, the Holy life of Daniel, patience of Job, faith of Caleb, the zeal of Phinehas, to name a few.
Christ was Paul’s ultimate example, “For even here-unto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23).
To the Corinthians he wrote: “Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Paul preached a lot of messages and people heard what he said, but they believed what he did. His actions spoke louder than his words.
Is Your Example Consistent?
Our students will hear what we have to say, but they
believe what we do. When we practice what we tell and teach, we will have a profound influence on oth-ers, especially those who we are in front of day after day - family and our students.
Jesus addressed this issue when He challenged the inconsistency in the lives of the clergy of His day.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the Scriptures. So practice and obey whatever they say to you, but don't follow their example. For they don't practice what they teach. Matt 23:1-3NLT
Does Your Example Change Lives?"
In the 1982 film E.T., the producers asked Mars candy maker, about using M&Ms in the film. Mars, for some reason, said “no”, so the film makers ap-proached Hershey’s. They said, “yes” and ET ate Hershey’s Reece’s Pieces which were relatively un-known at the time but sales went through the roof.
People, who live in other countries for any length of time, will pick up the accent of the people, not be-cause of the water they drink, the air they breathe, or the change in their vocal cords, but by what they hear and see. Even those of us who have been around Billy Joe Daugherty have picked up his man-nerisms. One’s example is often more powerful than their words. Examples will change our lives.
Our students are watching us wherever we are – at school, at sporting events, in the cafeteria, in church, in the neighborhood, or in the home. Most of the time we are not aware of it, but it is happening. Young people are checking out our example and learning from our lives. What are they learning? Are they learning obedience, humility, purity, meekness, honesty, self-denial, benevolence, forgiveness, love, compassion, and tenderness? How much of your example is having a positive influence? Can you, like Paul, ask your students to follow you as you follow Christ?
You don’t have to determine to be an example; all you need to do is determine what kind of example you are going to be.