1Peter 5:2, "shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not for domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock."
"Do as I say, not as I do." Who hasn't heard that before? Or better, who hasn't said that before to either the kids in their life or even their own kids? We know what to do, we want to be that example to those around us, but being that example is so much harder than it actually seems. It's so much easier to put on the wall a list of rules for our littles to follow. 1) Be kind, 2) listen when others speak, 3) Always tell the truth, 4) Have a positive attitude,
5) Always do your best. And the list can go on and on.
God says that lists or rules will lease us to being prone to breaking them. That's our sin nature. By all means, it's great have boundaries but a list alone isn't going to produce healthy happy citizens. What to do? Well, that's much harder, though it sounds simple enough. Be the example. That's it. Just be the list! Ever honestly try to tell the littles in your life, "Do as I do and you will be good to go"? I didn't think so. Neither have I.
But we can look to Jesus as our example and say to our small friends, or even our regular sized friends, "I live under the example of Christ and I am growing each and every day. Please be patient with me." I have a feeling the small people in my life would be more open to following that example.
Then I could confidently say, "Do as I say, AND do as I I try to do." 😊