Leading Through Love: Why Setting an Example Isn’t the Main Means of Influence

Imagine yourself in the midst of a challenging season, trying to navigate life’s myriad responsibilities and complexities. You might look to others for guidance, hoping to see examples of how to handle such difficulties with grace. But here’s a revolutionary thought — what if setting an example, while impactful, isn’t the principal way to influence others?

The Power of Personal Connection

Setting an example is crucial, but the most potent transformations often occur through personal, heartfelt connections. Consider Jesus’ approach. While He lived a life that was the perfect example for all to emulate, His deepest impact came through His relationships. Think about the intimate conversations He had with His disciples, the one-on-one interactions with the sick, and the personal invitations to follow Him.

Bible Verse: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35, NIV)

Words and Actions Go Hand in Hand

Just living a good life often isn’t enough. Your verbal encouragement, empathic listening, and genuine interest in people’s lives hold tremendous power. People tend to remember how you made them feel far more vividly than the specific examples you set. Share your stories of faith, your struggles, and triumphs. Your authenticity can often inspire and influence others far more deeply than any unobtainable standard.

Bible Verse: “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV)

Inviting Participation

Think about how Paul influenced the early church. He did not just set an example; he actively invited others into his ministry, nurturing them like a father. In his letters, he encouraged the early Christians to follow his example as he followed Christ, but more importantly, he built relationships and formed communities.

Bible Verse: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1, NIV)

Questions for Reflection

  1. When was the last time you deeply connected with someone and shared your faith journey?

  2. Who in your circle could use your encouragement and personal stories to face their struggles today?

As you ponder these questions, remember that your influence grows exponentially when you combine your example with relational depth and genuine care.

Your Influence Goes Beyond Actions

True influence encompasses more than setting an example; it’s about forging sincere connections and speaking life into others through your words and actions. Your positive, Christ-centered relationships may pave the way for others to experience God’s love in unprecedented ways.

Call to Action

Reflect on how you can combine your exemplary actions with heartfelt connections this week. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. How has someone’s words or personal touch influenced your walk with Christ recently? By sharing, you might be the encouragement someone else needs today.

In your interactions, remember, you’re more than just an example; you’re a conduit for God’s unfathomable love. Embrace this holistic approach to influence and witness the transformative power of authentic connections in your life and in your community.

By recognizing the full scope of influence beyond mere example-setting, we can begin to craft relationships that inspire, uplift, and ignite a deeper faith in others and ourselves.

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