1 Tim. 4:12 says, "Be an example in believers of the word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
As I've gone through the many trials and triumphs of life, I always make a point to give credit where credit is due even if the person may have harmed me in some way? Why? Because there is a lesson learned in every experience and in spite of someone's perceived bad, they still possess some inherent good.
In spite of some extremely questionable parenting, my mother is an incredibly strong woman and has shown me how to be a strong, independent, and self-sufficient woman. Like her, I can do many things that most would consider 'manly' tasks, but for her; and now me, if it needs to be done, then just do it. She's endured much and continues to forge on through. While that part of her taught me some bad lessons of endurance, it's also shown me that one must find their way and never stop moving.
My father is another questionable character; however, he has a very strong work ethic and is punctual. These are two traits that I can say I like about him and that I have inherited.
There are others who've led by example whom have touched my life in immeasurable ways and to each of them I say thank you as you've molded me into the woman I am today.
Now to my overall point...
Since September, I've been mentoring my cousin who was in dire need of a life transformation. I've helped get her back on her spiritual path and we pray daily and share the word. I've shown her that there is a big difference in shedding your clothes and shedding your soul. She's learning that a quick temper isn't always the best way to handle a problem and that words can be like pointing a loaded gun at someone.
Through my lead/example, she's seeing there is so much more to life and love than what she'd been doing and settling for. Almost daily, she thanks me for taking the time to talk to her and with her; instead of about her as some of the family has done. No one took the time to see past the wall she'd erected to get to know the wounded little girl that lived on the other side. Given that I see so much of myself in her, it was easy to not be fooled by the smile and party girl ways she portrayed.
I walk with her as her cousin, friend, and mentor because everyone needs modeling. None of us are too young or old to learn and grow. We can not expect people to just know things. If we've come through the flames, it's in our best interest to raise up those who are following behind us. Each one; teach one, should not be a catch phrase.
The learning lesson for today is: A good example has more value than good advice.
We can all talk the talk, but are we walking the walk? Today, I challenge you to look within yourself and see if you're reflecting your true self. Look deep and see if you're an example someone should be following. I further challenge you to; if you're not already, find someone to mentor and bless them with the tools and resources they'll need to make it.
Have a blessed day.
It's all possible!