Do you have someone in your life that is a good example of living right, someone you admire for how they live? Do you see people around you demonstrating how to live a successful life of faith? Most of us do not. Of course, our ultimate example is Messiah Yeshua. But, as perfectly as He walked out this life, it can be challenging to translate 1st century times to modern existence.
Sometimes people search for biographies or auto-biographies of great people to find footsteps to follow, someone to imitate. While reading a narrative can be helpful, witnessing a life being lived is vastly more impactful. Sadly, those of us focused on pleasing the Father and not conforming to the world, have few options for mentors or role-models. We realize that no one is perfect – save The One – but even finding decently righteous attributes to emulate in modern society is seriously slim pickins!
In my own life, and in Dear Hubby’s, we have had more success looking at anti-examples – those people who show us clearly how NOT to be, and what NOT to do! Whether it’s a co-worker, neighbor, or relative, we find direction by pursuing the opposite of what we see in toxic people. The key is in holding the action, intention, mindset, thought-process, etc. up to Torah. How does it match up?
It’s certainly challenging to live for YHWH in this modern world. He calls us to love Him with all, and others as ourselves. Those are the two greatest commandments which color everything in life.
So, if your co-worker speaks negatively about anyone not currently in the room, that does not match up with a loving heart. Doing the opposite would be to focus on positive things, speaking uplifting words or nothing at all – especially not speaking ill of anyone behind their back. The opposite matches with Torah.
If your mother complains about cleaning her house before company comes, dreads someone stopping by, and complains about visitors staying too long, that does not demonstrate hospitality or a loving heart. Doing the opposite might involve encouraging yourself to keep your home clean, enjoying that “chore” for what it can bring – the opportunity to be more relaxed and hospitable when you get an unexpected knock at the door.
If your neighbor constantly berates, belittles and demeans her husband, that is certainly not loving and does not demonstrate honor or respect for him. Doing the opposite? Lift up, encourage, and praise your husband. Be his biggest cheerleader. Only bring concerns or gentle rebukes to him privately and with humility. That matches Torah!
Sometimes the best examples we have in this upside-down world, are the anti-examples. Makes sense, doesn’t it? When the world is flipped on its head, so are its people and their hearts / actions.
May we become righteous role-models for faithful living in a fallen world. Shalom!