Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 NLT
What I say and do obviously has an effect on my life and on the lives of those around me, but that is just the direct impact – there is also an indirect effect. When others look at me, what do they see? Some people will not like or respect me in any case, but others do, so I really should be careful to let them see the right thing. Whether or not I set out to be an example to others, I always will be. If I do things as I should others will see it and may want to emulate me. If I behave badly, some might think that it’s ok for them to do the same.
And this doesn’t just apply to believers. For some reason over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking of the saying “Tell the Gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words.” I think the reason is for this. What does the way I live say to those around me who don’t know Christ? Does my love tell them anything special? Does my faith shine through? Is my life pure enough to let them see that I am different to non-believers?