Nevertheless, as I watch this adult in high intensity situations in which this adult is the focus of many, including those who are, at times, admonished for their behavior, I noticed that the behavior exhibited by this adult is the very thing that this individual tells the children not to do. There is yelling, screaming, and whining when this person does not get what this person wants and it is constant. The children see this and I see them acting and reacting in the same way. Why? Because, even though they have been warned and/or punished by this adult, they still like, respect, and look up to this adult. So, whatever behaviors are exhibited, and this adult does have great qualities, like being fun-loving and friendly, but the children emulate all of the behaviors; the good and the bad.
There is a great lesson to be learned from this. I do not know about anyone else, but me, so I will speak to my experience. Sometimes, I am so focused on my best qualities that I fail to notice when I exhibit my worst qualities. I expect that those around me will pick up on the best insights that I have to offer, but they will ignore the insults that so easily slide off of my tongue. I expect that the people over whom I have some influence will see me setting, seeking and reaching goals and will be inspired to do the same. I forget that they might also see me seeking validation from all of the wrong places and they may think that nothing they do is fruitful unless someone else cosigns. I want them to see me when I am being generous, but to turn a blind eye when I hold grudges.
Everyone has their sphere of influence. We must be careful that we are examples, especially, if we are Christians. I said something last night in front of my niece that should have never entered my mind let alone come out of my mouth. Sure, I laughed because it was funny at the time, but then, this morning, I thought twice about it and realized that I need to be an example of how to be hilarious without being inappropriate or insulting. I am not suggesting that people be fake; be who you are just be mindful of who is watching you and how you may shape that person’s idea of Christ-likeness. If we want the people around us to behave a certain way, we need to give them a proper example. We all have the greatest example of how to act and react in any situation in Christ Jesus.
Sometimes we wonder where the children (or even adults) around us get their worst behavioral habit. Well, I am reminded of an old ‘Say No to Drugs’ commercial where a father grills his son about why he is doing drugs. The son responds, “I learned it by watching you!” You might not be lighting up a joint in front of impressionable young people, but your bad habits can be just as contagious. So, be an example; it matters not whether you are dealing with your own relatives or someone else’s, just set a good example. Then, not only will you be cleaning up the junk in your life, but you might just help someone else live a better life as well. Ms. EV