Setting An Example
There is far more to setting an example than simply “doing the right thing.” Christians often get stereotyped as people who live perfectly and never make mistakes, but obviously this is an unrealistic expectation to reach and can cause Christians to feel as if they are constantly failing or falling short. However, you can try your best to set an example of how to live to nonbelievers through your attitude, how you treat others, your words, and your actions.
Your Attitude: Oftentimes, life is going to throw something unexpected and unwanted in your direction that challenges you and most likely frustrates you. But, how you respond is what people look at and is one way that we can show Christ in our character. Although it can be very difficult to remain positive in a negative situation, try to keep a level head because you never know who’s watching you.
How You Treat Others: In the same likeness as attitude, how you treat others matters. I’m not saying you have to go out of your way all the time to make someone’s day better, but if the opportunity falls into your lap, don’t miss out on a chance to make someone smile. This could be through a simple compliment, words of affirmation, or by asking about their day. Personally, I try to smile at people when I see them as a simple act of kindness (although it has been difficult with masks).
Your Words: Controlling your tongue can be very difficult and is something that I struggle with everyday. However, Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” The words that come out of our mouths can be dangerous if we aren’t careful because once something is said, it cannot be erased. So, be mindful of what you say, especially when you think that no one is listening.
Your Actions: This may be one of the biggest keys to setting an example for others. The way we act towards each other, adults, siblings, and family all play a part in setting a good example. However cliche it sounds, you may have to make the hard decision and simply do the right thing. If you are faced with a choice, and you are unsure of which is the right one to make, I suggest that you pray about it. Bring everything back to God and ask Him for guidance on what choice to make, and He will bring you to the right one. Especially nowadays, people are always watching, which makes it harder and harder to make the right decision, but speaking from experience, take it one day at a time and one decision at a time. In the end, it will all work itself out if your intentions are pure because actions speak louder than words.
At the end of the day, do the best that you can to set a positive, Christ-like example for others. If you mimic Christ through your attitude, how you treat others, your words, and your actions, people will start to notice the difference, and you will eventually feel the difference as well.