Walk the Talk

WALK THE TALK
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As a very young child, I remember spending hours of my days watching and listening to baseball games and highlights as they were available. I remember watching Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Leave it to Beaver, Dukes of Hazard, and so many of the other classics of my era. Hopefully that brings back some cool memories for some of you as well. Do you remember certain episodes or certain principles from those shows? I can recall a few but much more than that, I recall the overall themes of these shows. I remember the characters involved and their “personalities” that actually shaped me to an extent. Nolan Ryan was the greatest pitcher of all time, and I strived to follow his example for my career. Also, Bo Jackson left an impression on me. The slogan about him affected my perception of his character: “Bo knows.” Similarly, Kurt Warner and “First Thing's First” comes to mind.

Now think about who has shaped you? Do you remember watching a favorite coach, leader, teacher, or anyone significant? As we discuss connections this week, I wonder how many of us have stopped to think about the lasting affect that our early connections have had on us. Did you have a teacher that shaped your love for engineering, parenting, or any other significant part of your world today? Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”

Now look at your own character. Who is watching you? I guarantee you that people are watching you and you probably have a much larger audience than you realize. Consider that children and youth are watching you too. I’m reminded of the famous singer, Kelly Clarkson. She once stated that she did not want people looking up to her or following her example. She very likely didn’t want the pressure on her character to have to be perfect. But whether she likes it or not, many people are looking at her to emulate her. And just like Kelly, we have no choice in the matter. We are being watched and having an influence on people, young and old, all the time. Let’s look inside again.

 
How do you behave when no one is looking or when you think no one is looking?
 

Do you make a habit of skipping class, staying home sick, or calling out from work for illegitimate reasons? What parts of your life would you want someone to see or not see? What comes out of you when life puts the squeeze on you? Do you make excuses for your behavior based on outward circumstances? This thing that we call “life” is really a game of integrity and character.

In Matthew 23:25-26 NIV, Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

I’ll finish with a story that I heard of a young girl and her father. When she was about 17 years old, she was passing through a room from behind him and saw her dad watching TV from 2 rooms over. She quietly stopped and looked. It was late and her dad likely thought everyone in the house was fast asleep. She noticed that during a commercial break that a “Victoria’s Secret” type of commercial came on and she looked to see her dad’s reaction to it (when he thought that nobody was watching him). She said that he immediately and quite intentionally looked away from the TV for the duration of the sensual commercial. The respect she already had for her dad grew that night, but it could have been easily shattered in one moment based on his integrity.

Go the Extra Mile:

Now look inside and ask yourself, “Is my life worth imitating?”

Then, like the psalmist, David did, pray Psalm 139:23-24 over yourself: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

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