The other day I got to take my 5-year-old niece to church with me.  With the COVID protocols, kids’ church classes aren’t quite the same so she wanted to sit with me in “big church”.  We got to our seats at the front of the church and we both started off with masks on.  Since I was far enough away from non-family members, I pulled my mask off so that it was hanging on one ear and as I was singing, I was raising my hands in praise to my Father.  All the while, I was periodically reaching down to rub my niece’s back or twirl her hair to let her know I was there.  At one point I looked down at her and she had her mask hanging off one ear and had her hand raised as she sang… just like me.  Thank goodness my actions were pure and worthy because she was definitely mimicking what she saw in Aunt Debra.

I couldn’t help but think about the honor and privilege of setting a positive example for others.  I happen to be an aunt and a teacher; who can YOU influence?  You might be a parent or a daycare worker or have a job in a cubicle or be a bus driver or the CEO of a big company.  No matter where you are in life, you influence someone.  You matter and what you do makes a difference in someone’s life.

This knowledge tends to bring two things to my mind… one-I never know when someone is watching me and two-this fact spurs me to want to be the best I can be.  And the way I do that is to spend my time with God and to allow Him to fill me and prepare me for what lies ahead.  Paul was so bold in his proclamation:  “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”  I Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV; my bold italics).  I want to be that bold.  I want to be so connected to God through the Holy Spirit that I am the best example I can be.  This doesn’t mean I’m perfect, BUT it means my heart is seeking God in all things.. even in my mistakes and my repentance.

This might seem like a tall order, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26, ESV).

When the thought  of growing in Christ seems overwhelming, just remember…The first and greatest commandment is to love God.  When we stay focused on Him, He changes us from the inside out.

Eyes fixed on the light

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