Fridays with Susan...
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9
Those are Paul's words in a letter written to the Philippian Christians from a jail cell. Jane was leading us in the Bible study at our cell group. It was right at the end of the study, when she got to this passage and it hit me hard.
Could I write these words to someone just like Paul did? Could I tell someone to follow me, to do everything that I did? If they emulated me, would the peace of God be with them?
The thought terrified me as I thought about what the consequences might be if even one person decided they were going to follow me. We tend to think that what we do affects only us, at least I do, but it doesn't! I was amazed recently when I made some lifestyle changes, what an impact that had on my children and even some of my friends. They were all watching me, unbeknownst to me, and some of them were actually inspired - by my example alone - no preaching on my part - to make some similar changes themselves. I was really surprised by that. I thought my actions affected only me and it really surprised me when there was a significant ripple effect.
So if my positive actions are affecting others, wouldn't some of my negative actions also be? I'm not referring so much to interactions with others here, but some of the choices I make in how I live my life. What about the way I talk to to my husband? Or what I do when the store clerk gives me too much change? Or how I handle disappointment? Or how I use my time - how much of it I give to the Internet and other vain pursuits? The things I eat?
What about you? Could you pen those words to another, could you challenge them to follow you, with any sense of certainty that you weren't steering them way down a wrong path?
Well, I think it's about time I got myself positioned to do just that... to be able to say to others, "Go ahead - follow me!"
Hmmm. It's not about "me" after all. It's really not. Whether I like it or not, or whether I recognize it or not, I am a leader. And so are you!