Mere words are easy to dismiss. But it’s hard to deny the living reality of who we are. And when we’ve been called to lead others it remains true that more is caught than taught. We must be the example we want others to follow much more than merely telling them the way they should live.
To be sure, there’s a place for reasoning with others and offering a logical rationale to live a better life.
There is a way things work and communicating these simple truths can go a long way.
But the human soul is complex. And this brute reasoning is not always enough to change our hearts. We need deeper truths to penetrate our souls.
And this is where our life as an example comes into play.
It’s hard to ignore what is true when our very lives embody the principles we hope to inspire in others. There’s a different atmosphere around us and every interaction allows truth to be experienced and not just intellectually known.
Of course, this means we must actually adopt the principles we want others to embrace. We’re rightly dismissed as hypocritical when we say one thing but do something else.
But this doesn’t require perfection. In fact, our wrestling makes this path more approachable. Without watering down the standard, there’s much grace as we simply commit to being on the way.
In the end, our life becomes a story, a living parable, which others are able to see and learn from.
And their hearts are more likely to change as they witness and experience truth through a lived relationship with us.
Our love becomes palpable and not just something we talk about.
On the other hand, our many words can push people away without this lived reality as well.
Don’t just talk about what is good. Let your life do the talking by being a living example.