Monday, October 9
Robert Murray McCheyne was converted at the age of 14, mainly through the example of his older brother. He eventually became a renowned preacher. He fully realized the importance of being a role model for his congregation. He said “My people’s greatest need is my personal holiness.” While many of us are not behind a pulpit speaking to hundreds of people, as Christians we are ministering to people, both fellow believers and unbelievers. I fully agree with Robert Murray McCheyne; there is nothing more important than my personal holiness. It’s not that I am without sin, but I need to be radically different than the world. One way of being different is how I deal with sin in my life. When I fail in some way, I need to acknowledge it, confess it, and abandon it. That process of restoration is also part of being a role model. In my early teaching career, it took me awhile to discover that. When I made a mistake in the classroom, my instinctive reaction was to make an excuse for it. There is always a reason for mistakes, whether deliberate or inadvertent, but excuses are inexcusable. I needed to tell it like it was, which meant to acknowledge that I should have done something differently. Eventually I caught on that kids were not that dumb. They saw through the duplicity quite well. That was not being a good role model. But when I learned to quickly acknowledge the mistake and apologize for it (when appropriate), they were “with me.” It made a huge difference in my success as a teacher. All kids (and adults) make mistakes and they need to know how to deal with them. I think Robert Murray McCheyne would agree with my analysis. Just like Robert’s older brother, we can be good role models and influence people in the right direction.