"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify the Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
In psychology we talk about modeling -- serving as a model for how others should behave. At least we show them how we hope they will act.
It's easy to see people in our lives with sufficient status that we expect others to act like them. Pastor's and their wives, for instance, can serve as an example for young people, and occasionally adults.
There are those who say there is no greater compliment than imitation. I've always found myself somewhat irritated when others copied me, but I guess I shouldn't feel that way. Anymore, I'm so out of the visibility of people, I fail to recognize that others may be watching how I handle various situations.
The other morning I was carrying a load of dirty clothes down the stairs and stepped on my son's boots. Because of my poor balance, my body flew in three or four directions before I finally caught the wall that stopped the fall, but caused a scrape. In my fear, I let a couple of naughty little words fly from my mouth. I'm sure I was pretty loud about it, too, because I was very scared.
What kind of an example was that for my neighbors? I feel ashamed as I write this.
As God's representatives we should all be careful of our actions. We never know who might see or hear and negate the worth of our beliefs because of one brief moment. Such a thing might undermine months of work we've done presenting God's message.
I know I'll be more careful in the future to let my light shine for good instead of evil. How about you?