Monday, June 3, 2013

Are we worthy of being an example?

"Bless us that we will help people to be better than ourselves." 


This portion of a prayer shared on Grandma Honey’s blog resonated with me. Like the apostle Paul, I will say, as he did in Philippians 3:

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. 

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

This just may be a goal that can be achieved! 


Can and will we help others to become better than we are? It may be in the example we set for our children or our grandchildren. Perhaps and even especially our example should extend to those we come into contact with in the work place and in the market place.


I believe even when we mess up, we can still be an example.


We need to admit we messed up and then for asking for forgiveness. Simply stated, sometimes we may serve as an example of how not to be a Christian! 


What a sad, sad commentary and observation this Gandi quote is, don’t you think? Sometimes Christians do have a tendency to act a bit more “superior” than those who aren’t believers. Then when we have someone fall out of the ranks, we tend to ostracize them to the point of 'shooting our wounded'. Should we not endeavor to pour the oil of kindness, the oil of mercy, and the oil of grace on the wounded and bind up their injuries? If we do not come along side of them who will? The enemy? Do we then allow them to become prisoners of war?

During the formative years in our children’s lives, we attended small (read dying) churches. Generally the members were older, disgruntled, and didn’t like having  children interrupt their standard of worship. Our children WERE the youth group. 

I wish we would have done that differently. I wish we would have found alive and vibrant churches where our children could have been nurtured and directed other than what they got from home devotions and our example, or sometimes the lack of example. Or even the legalistic attitudes we displayed rather than unconditional love. It took us until grandchildren to learn this valuable lesson. (Learn from our mistakes!)

This weekend, as ever busy as it has been, I still have observed Husband as he is setting example after example to and for our Grandson. Husband is the epitome of unconditional love and forgiveness and lavishly extends it to our Grands.

Our Grandson will remind us to “pray” if he feels we are not going to at meal time. He remembers too, to ask to be excused from the table and will “catch” us, if we, the adult role models forget to do so! He is loving, patient and forgiving. These are attributes I see in his Grandpa, too. I like to think that Grandpa has helped to mold this Grand’s character in some fashion.

And so I pray, "Bless us that we will help people to be better than ourselves."

Simply yours,
Tamara

1 Timothy 4:12   New American Standard Bible

12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. (And especially to those who don’t believe!)