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We are social creatures and learn in large part by the observations we make of others. And while certainly this includes the power of living examples, much can be learned through the stories of those who have gone before us as well. In fact, it’s through the example and stories of others that we can find the hope and encouragement we need on our journey of faith.

To be sure, there are many things we must learn by simply doing it ourselves. But even here we’re not completely alone. Observing others gives us a template of what can be done even as we bring our unique expression to it. The lives of others give us inspiration and vision as we find our own way forward.

For instance, reading the stories of Joseph, David, Daniel, and the like all show us what it looks like to live a life of confident and radical faith in God. As such, we have the hope to endure when our family rejects us, we have to face our giant, or we’re thrown into our proverbial den of lions. Of course, our circumstances are not the exact same, but their stories give us a template of faith we can now apply to our own.

And the same is true as we share our present day stories with each other. Perhaps seeing the life of our family, friends, or even someone at a distance gives us a living example of how to live courageously today. Again, there’s no cookie-cutter recipe to follow, but seeing their unwavering commitment to pursue the good and inexplicable peace even through hard times helps to shape our character in this direction as well.

In the end, continue to work out the things only you can do. But learn from the many examples of others as well. Their stories give us hope and remind us of what can be done. 

Photo by Jeremy McKnight on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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