In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
I am not much for keeping up with the styles of the day, either in my home decor or in what I choose to wear. I do look at the 'trends' from time to time, almost wondering what someone was thinking when they chose that particular 'design'! I find it comforting to see others just like me, trying not to 'bend' with the winds of popular trends. Principles are a hard thing to adhere to at times, especially when the 'trend' of the hour is telling us to do something entirely different than what we know to be right or true. I am sad to say that many will follow the trend rather than remain true to the standard upon which they claim to base their life!
The values we choose in life are often those we see modeled in others. I think it is imperative for us to have good role models - more importantly, it is critical for us to be they types of role models others can follow! Five things for us to consider this morning:
1. How are we modeling the behavior of watchfulness in our lives? What is it we are 'watching'? I would like to caution us here a little because what we tend to behold with our eyes long enough will often become something we allow ourselves to 'grow toward', much like the plant who turns their leaves toward the light of the sun. If we are 'watching' through the 'lens' of faith and truth, the things we behold that are not going to help us stand strong in our faith will soon become the things we turn away from, not toward.
2. Standing firm requires a solid foundation - what is your foundation in life? I have done some pretty goofy things in life, like crossing suspension bridges of questionable strength or quality. I have also done some pretty good things in life, like using a step ladder to put away something in a high storage spot rather than standing on a chair. The things we choose to do that are not 'well-founded' in life are usually the result of not having the right focus, listening to the wrong voices, or just being plain lazy in our convictions. The things that we choose that are what most would call 'wise' or 'smart' are just the opposite!
3. Act like men seems a little odd for a woman to be writing, but if we take this in context, the idea is that of leading and doing it well. We are to be models of 'right' and 'consistent' behavior, not wishy-washy or misdirected in our purpose, plan, or performance in life! Where are you called to 'lead' in life? Consider who it is that is following where it is you are leading. Will they be made 'better' by your leading? If not, consider how it is you need to change your actions so that your leadership is positive and purposeful.
4. How is it we exhibit strength in life? I think it comes in the fifth word to us - by modeling love in all we do. There is nothing that reveals true 'strength' than to be able to model the actions of Christ's love in our lives. To give grace to those who don't deserve it is an actions of 'strength'. We don't demand our own way, but lovingly extend grace when the circumstances or the individual doesn't do one thing to earn that extension of love, forgiveness, or 'freedom'.
We aren't going to have strong role models in this world until we are willing to allow God to make us into them! Just sayin!