The Power of Example

While speaking to people many of us start picking up their accent, while watching them we pick up their mannerisms, while spending time with them we may pick up their habits, parts of their personality, their actions, the way they speak and the way they carry themselves. And so it all makes sense when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 v 33 ‘Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.’

Throughout the Bible we are continually taught about the influence that other people have on us. We have to be careful who we spend our time with as our standards can easily drop to the standards of those around us. The good habits that we have spent time on cultivating can be completely overturned by unhelpful friendships. What highly impressionable people we are!

The book of Proverbs says ‘Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on…the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.’ (Proverbs 4 v 14-16 and 18)

But if spending time with ungodly people can drag us down, spending time with the godly can raise us up! We need to be aware of just how weak we are. And in whatever situation we find ourselves in – whether it is a non-Christian or Christian home, whether from day to day in work and study we find ourselves surrounded by Christians or non-Christians – God’s Word stays the same. We must maximise the time that we spend with God’s people, brothers and sisters in Christ (old and young) who will raise our standard and who will encourage us in righteousness.

Psalm 1 says: ‘Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners…For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, the way of the ungodly shall perish.’ (Psalm 1 v 1 and 6)

Becsy Wells

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  1. very important-- thanks for the reminder :) we can so easily be draged astray.

  2. Thanks for this article Becsy, I think you have raised something very important here, and we certainly need to be striving to follow the best examples set for us, by both living and historical saints. Paul says to the Corinthian believers 'Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ' ICor 11v1, and any example that helps us to follow more closely to Christ must be a blessing.

    But have you considered the other side of this coin, and that is the importance of our own example to others? As a parent I have often observed over the years just how powerful an influence older teenagers in particular can have on younger children, whether they're members of the same family, family friends, or even occasional acquaintances. Younger children often look up to older ones as role models in a different way from their parents. This puts you younger people in a position of influence which you can use for the Lord, by taking care to deliberately display your Christian faith especially to children and younger believers, and to walk in a way which will encourage them also to want to follow closer to Christ. May the Lord bless you as you seek to walk worthy of Him. Mandy Mackereth.


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