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As a middle school teacher, I hear odd things from time to time. However, a few years ago, one of my students made a profound statement. She said, “Even though everyone keeps telling me I’m supposed to, I don’t have a clue what it means to respect my teachers.” First, I was shocked she had not learned this at home. Second, I was convicted about not setting a better example for her. I’m afraid this happens too often. We expect children and teenagers to behave a certain way, but we’ve given them no model to follow.

In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Paul lived a life that pointed people to Christ. Someone could follow his example and begin to look more like Christ. As adults, we need to be able to echo Paul’s words. We need to live lives that model what it looks like to pursue a growing relationship with Jesus. We should show younger generations how to respect others by the way we treat them and others around us. We should show them how to rely on God’s word by having daily quiet times. We should show them how to be generous as they see us giving time and money to people in need. They need us to set the example. They need people in their lives they can follow to the foot of the cross. They need people to show them what really following Jesus looks like.

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