Whether we are conscious of it or not, our lives can leave an indelible impression upon those who come in contact with us, either occasionally or frequently. That can be good or bad, depending on what they experience when they’re around us. King Solomon noted that people who want to grow in wisdom will spend time with the wise. But those who walk with the wicked will eventually become just like them (Proverbs 13:20). So which one are you? Are you a wise individual or foolish? What does your life represent to others and how might it impact the choices and decisions of their life’s journey?
Have you ever stopped to think that there are people, both believers and non-believers, who are examining your walk? People who want to model the behavior and lifestyle and characteristics they see in your life? It’s true. There are people—who may never reveal this to you—but they’re watching your life, hoping to have some of what they admire in you to rub off on them. And since leadership is essentially the power of one to influence another, it is important to consider the immeasurable possibilities of how our one single life can impart and impact for good or for bad.
In 1848, Dr. John Geddie settled on an island called Aneiteum in the most southern part of the isles in the Coral Sea off the northeast coast of Australia. He and his family worked there for God for twenty-four years. When they first arrived they encountered tropical storms, unknown diseases and very suspicious natives that were described as heathen cannibals. By the end of the second year, Dr. Geddie reported that ten people were attending his services. But this increased rapidly after that. In fact, his single life had such an impact on the island, they erected a tablet in honor of him which stated:
When he landed, in 1848, there were no Christians.
When he left, in 1872, there were no heathen.
For the next six months or three years, God is giving you the opportunity to influence three other people in a discipleship group by the observation of your life and the qualities of Christlikeness they experience in you. By the end of their three-year journey with you, up close and personal, will they have fared well by their experience? What, in your life, will they replicate in theirs? How will they have become the better for being with you and reproducing in their lives what they’ve learned from watching you? Whether you like it or not—you will be a leader in their eyes, following your lead. So be a wise leader.
Don’t let anyone look down on your youthfulness, but set an example of what a believer in Christ really looks like. Model this in what you say and how you say it, in the conduct and behavior of your life, in how you show love to people, how you demonstrate your faith in Christ, and the purity in which you approach all things. —1 Timothy 4:12 (JZV—Jay Zinn Version)