Obedience is tricky. Sometimes we like rules and boundaries; other times we rebel against being told what to do. I’m a leader and I’m a follower. I take my following cues from what I see others doing more than what I hear them say. If I am told to do one thing yet my leader is doing the opposite, I am prone to wander. As much as I may want direction, I am not going to follow someone who does not practice what they preach.
My Teacher, Mom
The picture above is my mom with her four children (we are seated, L to R, Sandra, John, Mom, Vicki and me). As young children, mom directed our path by living out what she taught. From her example, we learned to give to the poor. We learned there is no separation of people groups; all are worthy of love and fairness. We learned the importance of having Jesus in our life and the value of prayer. Mom was not difficult to obey because she lived what she taught. “Treat others as you want to be treated.”
I learned other things by observing what she did. I learned to cook southern-style, sew, and garden. And I learned to persevere. When life hit her with disappointment, grief, and discouragement, she pushed through by leaning into God and others. She was the role model that would later walk me through my own grief and disappointment. Mom has always been a woman of prayer, quick to speak of God’s goodness and power, and even quicker to give a helping hand to someone in need. She walked the walk. We followed.
A Life of Obedience
Jesus calls to each of us, “Follow Me”. His word gives us clear direction in how to follow Him. If you are new to obedience in your faith journey, start with these five words … love God and love others … and see how life begins to turn upward. If you have others following you, invite God into your daily leadership role so you will be successful in practicing what you preach. When we have a good and faithful leader, we are prone to follow.