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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Example (07/25/13)

TITLE: Be the Example
By Ron Barnes


It seems we are constantly looking for role models to give us a standard for our conduct and goals. I remember when I was a child I loved to watch the Saturday morning westerns with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy and others. These were heroes worth emulating. They protected the weak, sought justice and promoted traditional values. I even wrote a song about them called “Riding Into the Sun”. You can find it at http://opng8.org/ridingintosun.html.

Unfortunately, as I point out in my song, our current role models often prove themselves unworthy of emulation. The news media are constantly filled with stories of sexual misconduct, financial corruption and drug abuse by entertainers, politicians and athletes. It seems that, the minute somebody gains popularity, we find a way to damage that popularity. There are several reasons for this. Probably the main reason is that, although these people may have certain talents, they are still people. They are still human, with all the faults and frailties shared by all humans. Perhaps the fault is ours for expecting them to be something more.

We can also blame the news media. Bad news sells. We enjoy seeing those who have become exalted have their weaknesses exposed. The psychological term for this is schadenfreude, which means taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others. When we see the humanity of others exposed and exploited, we can take pleasure in saying, “You’re not so hot after all”. Since we are all aware of our own imperfections, knowing that others share those imperfections relieves any feelings of inferiority.

Here’s a crazy idea. Instead of looking for role models, be one. Matthew 5:16 tells us to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”. You are not perfect but you are not the devil incarnate either. I would be willing to bet that, if you reflect on your history, you can find things in your life to be proud of. If there are things in your life you are not proud of, get rid of them. It’s like the old joke about the man who goes to the doctor, waves his arm up and down and says, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”

The doctor replies, “Well, stop doing that.”

You have the power and wisdom of the Lord within you. Get rid of the things that are blocking that light and become the shining example that our Father created you to be.

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This article has been read 164 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/04/13
I felt like you were sitting in my hospital room and speaking just to me. I often wonder why God has allowed me to be I'll, but then I see him use my illness to glorify him and suddenly the pain feels worthwhile. Christ endured all kinds of agony for me, I can endure some pain for him. While this may not be the exact message you were going for, God will use your words in different ways to different people. That show God at work. Thank you for these words. Nice job.
C D Swanson 08/04/13
Beautiful job with this entry. So many truths in this multi-layered piece.
Thank you.

God bless~
Larry Whittington08/08/13
Good observations.

Good comments about Letting our light shine.

All adults should think about the "Kid's Song" THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE and then practice it regularly.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/08/13
Congratulations for placing 8 in your level! (Highest rankings can found on the message boards)