People Are Watching You…And That’s A Good Thing

Yesterday I was job shadowed by one of my youth group kids. We had a good time hanging out and I got to show him the random and assorted activities that make up my day as a youth minister/associate minister/graduate student.

It was somewhat of a different experience for me, as I was very consciously aware that there was someone watching to see what I did and to act accordingly (as part of his responsibilities for the day, he was supposed to dress similarly to me and take part in my activities throughout the day). Altogether, our time together served as a helpful reminder: although we are not always aware of it, there are always people watching us, and our behavior and actions will have an influence on people either for good or bad.

A lot of people don’t like the idea that people are watching them or looking up to them. Several years ago basketball star Charles Barkley famously declared that he wasn’t a role model, largely because he  didn’t like the feeling of responsibility that came with having thousands of kids looking up to him. He didn’t want to have to raise the standards of his behavior or refrain from acting in certain ways (a lot of other athletes have since echoed similar ideas).

For Christians though, this shouldn’t be a frightening realization so much as it should serve as motivation. It reminds me of the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11.1: 
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
As Christians, if we are people of integrity and dedication, we should be able to invite people to do the same thing: follow our examples because we are following the example of Christ. People don’t follow our examples because we are so good in and of ourselves, but because our lives help to point them to the One who is good. It is a high standard to live up to, but it is the life we have been called to lead.

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