On Being Holy

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.

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