“…be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12b)
One Sunday morning in 1865, a black man entered a fashionable church in Richmond, Virginia. When Communion was served, he walked down the aisle and knelt at the altar. A rustle of resentment swept the congregation. How dare he! After all, believers in that church used the common cup. Suddenly a distinguished layman stood up, stepped forward to the altar, and knelt beside the black man. With General Robert E. Lee setting the example, the rest of the congregation soon followed his lead.
Few things are as vital to human experience as the power of personal example or, otherwise put, modeling.
General Lee forced the congregation out of the stupor of their erroneous dogma to an honorable path by setting the example. Communities rise and fall on this principle. Individual successes or failures are influenced by the examples they are exposed to. The truth is, we learn more from the examples of others than we do from abstractions. The import of this is significant in this current age.
Popular culture is today throwing up a potpourri of role models; glamorous celebrities who determine what is hip and trendy; serial monogamists who elevate all things material. The world where people were respected as a result of the virtues they possessed has since been replaced by a global culture of consumerism that measures a man by the depth of his pocket, and the breadth of his fame. In the modern world, it matters little how you attain fortune and fame, it only matters that you have them. News items across the world are riddled with not only celebrity scandals but also the increasing failings of politicians, statesmen and corporate executives. Great personal examples are in short supply.
Columnist, Ellen Goodman captured a bit of the problem when she said, “the call for ‘parental responsibility’ is increasing in direct proportion to the irresponsibility of the marketplace… the chorus of cultural values was once full of ministers, teachers, neighbors, leaders. They demanded more conformity, but offered more support. Now the messengers are … Madonna, rap groups, and celebrities pushing sneakers.” This truth is, the world is in desperate need of great personal examples. The future of our children depends on it.
Studies have proven that a girl needs to see confidence, leadership and accomplishment in other women in order to envision herself with those same qualities. Yes girls need women with global reckoning to inspire them, but they also need local heroines; women within their socio-economic context who exemplify a character and have accomplishments they feel is within their purview to attain. Now do you know that God has equipped you to be a role model?
The Bible declares us to be the light of the world, and the salt of the earth. And so if anyone has the capacity to blaze the trail and be the standard in every sphere of life, it is you. In our opening text Paul urges the young Timothy to be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith and in purity. This call echoes to us today. You are the difference the world is seeking. You can inspire people to change, one right word, one right action at a time. You are the light of the world. You influence the world. The world cannot influence you. That is why the Bible refers to you as the salt of the earth.
Philippians 2:15-16 says, “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. It is in holding fast to the word of God that we stand ourselves out as role models. Go ahead, make a commitment to set great personal examples everywhere you find yourself. Start from your home, your office, your business, your neighborhood. Be that one woman, women and men will use as a reference point to model their behaviors after. Heaven and earth are counting on us to arise and take our place as sons of God. Creation awaits your manifestation.
Interestingly, December is our month of Supernatural Manifestation and our theme scripture for the month is, Matthew 5:14, “you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Obscurity is over in your life. This month, the Lord will cause you to shine. Kings shall come to the brightness of your rising. You will finish the year stronger than you began, in Jesus name!
I look forward to reading your testimonies as they roll in. Again, if you require counseling or want us to prayerfully agree with you; do send me a mail at email@example.com.
I encourage you to visit our websites; blog.pastortaiwoministries.org, www.thewomanleader.org, www.ruthandboaz.org, http.homeaffairs.tfolc.org
for other women related issues. Welcome to the new month.
God bless you.
Pastor Taiwo Odukoya