Our little guy shocked us when he was in second grade with an example none of us could soon forget. The blunder took his father with us to a home school class out of town–a full day off work–to confess a lie he told when caught up in the moment. A visiting meteorologist in science class sparked a one-upping moment from the eager little learners, and my boy could not be outdone, so he shared with tears in his eyes a completely imaginary account of losing his baby sister in a tornado. Facing that lie took help, and a father who loved him made the perfect partner.
Sometimes we’re wrong. We just need to own it, but changing our ways and confessing our issues seems too monumental. We need an example to follow in confession as well, and Todd provided that example for little Martin.
We need help to face down our own weaknesses. Our bad attitudes, our aggressive treatment of others, our demeaning of children or spouses: all these behaviors need to change, but how?
In today’s changing culture, so many people don’t have families in tune with emotional and spiritual needs. More often than not, people feel alone, as if facing these flaws in character is a Lone Ranger proposition, and the battle is just too much to handle. We have no one faithful to point out in love that we may need to change and certainly no one to hold our hands and walk us through those struggles.
Now more than ever, we must seek out those to follow, search for people of character to emulate, and ask humbly for their input in our lives, and then accept it. Everyone learns from example and feedback, but we don’t always like it. Some of us, unfortunately, follow poor examples and then become them ourselves.
I learned to be honest by two means–paying attention to those older than me who made integrity a part of their everyday lives and staying away from people who encouraged me to continue fooling myself into thinking I was fine. In short, I exposed my heart to people who would make me uncomfortable enough to change, and they did this because they loved me. I had to internalize their feedback and then do something with it in order to grow as a human being.
The blessing in all these human connections is that now, I get to be the example for others at the same time I’m still looking to those who’ve walked before me to continue setting the example for me and speak truth into my life.
I’m always following someone, and someone else is always following me. If I don’t listen and learn, then I’m stuck being a negative example, like a kid who never grows up.
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.