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“After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:5 NIV)

If you want to set a good example for others, live it.  Many people in today’s world know how to talk a good talk.  They know all the right things to say.  What they don’t do is live up to their word.  Jesus lived up to His word.  He set a perfect example anyone can follow.  Actions speak louder than words.  Whatever example you’re trying to set, live it.  Live the example you want others to follow.

I was a store manager for years.  I led by example. I greeted customers when they walked in the door.  I dusted shelves, vacuumed floors and cleaned bathrooms.  I was on time for my shifts.  I didn’t leave early.  I respected my supervisors.  I never asked my employees to do anything I wasn’t willing to do myself.  If I didn’t do it, they didn’t have to do it.  As a result, I had a very successful career.  I lived the example I wanted my employees to follow.  Jesus’ actions convey the same message: live the example you want others to follow.

Live the example you want others to follow.

I saw a reenactment of Jesus’ washing feet over 15 years ago.  The pastor, in the middle of his sermon, asked for a volunteer.  He sat them in a chair, lovingly took off their shoes, and washed their feet.  He didn’t speak, He just did.  I have never forgotten the visual story he told through his actions.  Jesus’s disciples, I imagine, felt the same way.  With awe and wonder they watched as Jesus prepared Himself to wash their feet.  This man, who had performed countless miracles, served them humbly.

Jesus leads with grace and humility.  His willingness to complete an undesirable task for another is a symbol of His gentleness.  Jesus didn’t consider Himself “too good” for menial work.  He was willing to do whatever was needed:

“Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (John 13:1 NIV)

The greatest example Jesus set for us was on the cross.  He died so we can live.  Jesus knows the troubles we face today.  He knows the hopelessness we feel.  His desire for us is to trust in Him:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

To set the right example, do what Jesus did.  Follow Him and He’ll show you the way.

Question of the Day:

What kind of example is your life setting?

Further Reading: 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39 NIV, John 13:1-30 NIV, Psalm 119:1-16 NIV, Proverbs 15:29-30 NIV

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