Setting a good example

I remember the first time I smoked a cigarette—I was 9 years old. My cousin and I grabbed a pack of my grandmother’s cigarettes and ran to the woods to try them. I took a puff of it and started to cough—I coughed so much that I thought bits of my lung would come up.

When my oldest granddaughter was two years old we noticed that she would try to push our cats with her foot. We had no idea why she was doing this until one day we were trying to get the cats away from the front door and realized that we used our foot to move them out of the way.

It’s interesting how we try to imitate others. Sometimes we imitate others without even thinking about it.

I remember when my husband and I had a terrible argument when we were younger— we were both yelling at each other, and I threw dishes on the floor. It reminded me of the scene from the movie, The Godfather, when the daughter and her husband were arguing—cups and plates crashing on the floor.

I understand now that I only did that because that’s what I had seen whenever my mother would have an argument with my father, and later on, my stepfather—she would yell and throw stuff.

A lot of what we see in movies and in real life should not be imitated.

I think of the Scripture verses from Ephesians 5:1-2, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ…” (NLT).

Now that I am older, I want to set a good example for my children and grandchildren. I know that they will imitate me, whether they realize it or not, so I want them to imitate a godlier version of me. The only way to do that is for me to try to imitate Jesus.

The only way I can truly know how Jesus behaved is to read the Bible.

Even though my desire is to be more Christ-like in my conduct, I still struggle with my “old me.” I know that this struggle will remain for the rest of my life—all I can do is try and try again—keep reading His Word and pray.

My hope is that I will be a fountain of godly advice for my grandchildren; not only that, but that my words will match my actions. It’s funny, but my ultimate desire is to look like Moses after he talked with God:

“When Moses came down Mount Sinai carrying the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant,he wasn’t aware that his face had become radiant because he had spoken to the Lord… Aaron and the people of Israel saw the radiance of Moses’ face…

… he would give the people whatever instructions the Lord had given him, and the people of Israel would see the radiant glow of his face” (Exodus 35:29-30, 34-35, NLT).

I’m not sure if people can tell that I have a relationship with God. I’m not even sure if I imitate Jesus very well, but that is my desire—to have a close relationship with God and to imitate Jesus so that it shows in my face.

I know that anything is possible with God, and I know that having a close relationship with Him and imitating Jesus is possible through Him. I just need to read His instructional manual more often than I do.

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Just do it

Fear is so powerful. It can stop us from saying what we ought to say or stop us from doing what we ought to do. I get very nervous when I have to speak in front of a large crowd.  Sometimes the fear makes it feel like my stomach is knotting up.

Yesterday, I was offered an onsite course to teach. The first reaction I had was fear.

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I thought about the many reasons why I should decline the offer— my voice quivers when I speak, I’m too much of an introvert, I really don’t like driving at night, etc.; plus my past experiences have not been very good. I was ready to send my email to decline the offer, but everything changed after we read Exodus this morning.

God wanted Moses to do something, “but Moses protested” (Exo 3:11 & 13), then “Moses protested again” (Exo 4:1); finally Moses, “pleaded with the Lord, ‘O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled’” (Exo 4:10).

God’s reply spoke to me, “Then the Lord asked Moses, ‘Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say’” (Exo 4:11-12).

Unlike Moses, I will not continue to protest God (Exo 4:13). I sent an email accepting the assignment. I have no idea how God will use me during those five weeks but I hope that He will be glorified.

What has God asked you to do? Stop protesting and do it!

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti