I used to tell my children that we needed to be careful about what we said and did because someone was always watching us. We could be a good example and encourage others to be Christ-like, or we could be a bad example and discourage others from learning about or growing in Christ.

Now that I am older, I realize we'll never be perfect examples. Life can wear us down and suck the joy out of our hearts.

But God can use us anyway. Seeing how a sister in Christ handles financial difficulties with a smile on her face or how a brother faces a poor medical prognosis with courage and faith can strengthen us during our challenging times. And that strengthening can then help others.

Jesus wants believers to be an example. In the Sermon on the Mount, he said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). We can’t hide from others. Someone is always watching. But even if we’re not perfect, we can still be an example of faith to others if we try to reflect Jesus.

What do others see in us? Do we show them how to answer grumpy people with kind words? How to bear loss and suffering with patience? How to be content when turmoil swirls all around us?

Let’s seek to reflect the light of the Gospel to a dark and sinful world and give courage to Christians in every place by our examples of faith, joy, and love.

Jesus, thank you that your Spirit enables me to express his fruit by faith. Send others to show me how to trust in him to live in and through me so that I can, in turn, show others. Together, we can all learn how to be a great example of your love, joy and peace in the lives of others as we walk in your Spirit's strength. Amen.

Go Deeper — Who are you influencing today? How can you manifest the fruit of the Spirit in your relationship with them today?

Tags: 1&2 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1
Photo Credit: Tom Parsons