How often do we get to see how what we do and who we are really impacts others?
Especially if it isn’t the way you’d hoped.
Number three child, Melody, was with us two weekends in a row. She’s a straight talker and a gal who can make decisions quickly. She thinks strategically and can make things happen with efficiency and effectiveness.
Me? Not so much.
So when we needed to drive anywhere, I made her ride up front with John. Seemed fair. They have a lot in common and can talk shop quite effectively.
“Slow down, Dad! You need to merge here.”
“Dad, put on your brakes. He’s slowing down.”
“Speed up, Dad. Cars are stacking behind you.”
“Don’t drive so close, Dad. You’re almost kissing his bumper.”
I could barely contain the laughter. My daughter was doing to her Dad what I’ve been doing to him for more years than I can imagine.
Mellie’s a confessed front-seat back-seat driver with her husband. Like mama, like daughter.
What have I done? Is there a back-seat driver gene that I passed on to my girls? (It must be gender related–my son seems immune.) Or is it my dulcet tones used to gently nag John to drive faster that has, by osmosis, seeped into my kids?
My kids have teased me forever about being a front-seat back-seat driver. I’ve nagged each of them. (Guess who taught them how to drive? Hint–it wasn’t my sweet, slow-driving husband.)
But seeing my own indiscretions played out in the lives of my kids? Don’t they know they’re supposed to do what I say, not what I do?
No one likes to have a mirror held up when they know they don’t look good.
That doesn’t happen often.
Jesus took a rag-tag bunch of guys with questionable credentials and limited social skills. Fishermen and tax collectors. Not the ones you’d invite to dinner.
He taught them what it meant to care for others more than they cared for their reputations. He redefined love and commitment. And He died in our place to prove He meant it all.
He set an example.
To prove that people mattered more than position and things, the night He was betrayed He performed an act most often performed by house servants.
He washed their feet. Filthy feet from the dusty roads.
“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:15
Jesus chose to treat others with kindness. Showing they mattered. Had value. He wouldn’t have died for us if He didn’t know we have value.
I need to be an example with my attitude, which should then drive my actions and decisions. That’s tough. But I want to do it. I need to do it. With His power in me, I can do it.
Maybe I could begin by not saying anything when John’s driving.