Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
“Do what I say, not what I do!” We’ve all heard that saying and know it is totally unbiblical. However it isn’t always easy to set a perfect example for others, especially when it’s a weak spot in which God is working in our own lives. After all, we don’t come into ministry mature and perfected. God uses ministry as part of the process to refine us and make us more like Jesus. People look at us to see how the Christian life should really work. We know all the answers, or at least we tell others how to do it, so we should have it down ourselves.
Often we communicate more by what we do than what we say. Teaching how to witness, pray, and serve others can be relatively simple, but showing by example how to handle criticism and persecution is harder. It is especially difficult when such attacks come from other believers in the church. Yet God allows unfair criticism to come against us. One of the reasons is for us to set an example to others of how to respond. Youth who live for Jesus will be criticized and persecuted by others. You can tell them how to respond, but you can also back it up by your actions. What kind of an example are you setting for those who are watching you?
Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
2 Timothy 3:10, “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings — what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
2 Timothy 4:9, “Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia…. Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.”
- Have you been unfairly criticized lately? By whom?
- What did your students learn from the example of how you handled it?
- What did you do right?
- What could you have done better?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on May 12, 2008