I was listening to Klove this morning after dropping my step-daughter off at school. I love listening to their positive, uplifting music. The radio personalities there are real, filled with fun, and just smile over the radio. At different times during the day, they go over different headlines and/or trending topics. This morning was no different.
They talked about a phrase that parents could use with their children that actually can help them develop. This one made me think quite a bit. I really do think it can help my child–I should really use it a lot more. Here’s the phrase:
Watch how I…
How does this work? Well, think about the things you want to teach your child. Instead of always telling them “Do this,” we should tell them “Watch how I do this.” Examples like “watch how I tie my shoes,” or “watch how I sweep the floor”, or “watch how I open this program on the laptop” are pretty obvious things. But what about, “watch how I tell your mom that I love her,” or “watch how I show consideration to this couple” are not as obvious. We want to teach them to love and be considerate, but how often do we just tell them, “remember to say excuse me?” or “what do you say since they did that for you?” (expecting them to say “thank you”).
What if we, instead, led by example, and pointed out that fact? We would be providing a model for them in so many ways! If we have any care at all in parenting in a positive way, we do try to be an example. But, calling attention to what we’re trying to teach them or reinforce in this way is almost like saying, “Hey, pay attention to this. This is important! In fact, watch me!”
How does this apply to worship?
This is what had me thinking. Is there a Biblical foundation for this question? Christ is the ultimate example. Jesus said:
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
This particular scripture is John 13:34, but there are several other instances that He said something similar to this. A couple of them are John 15:9 and John 15:12. It doesn’t specifically say “watch how I,” but He is definitely pointing out the example that He set.
One particular time I think about is when he washed the feet of His disciples. This is found in John 13:1-17.
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Notice that in verse 14, He said, “Now that I,….you should also.” The point he was trying to make is that we need to have an attitude of a servant to one another. In that culture, washing another person’s foot was an extremely low job. The fact that He, Lord of all, washed their feet was an incredible gesture. It was almost like watching Undercover Boss. I watched one episode where the CEO of a company was told to clean a baby’s um….accident from the pool. The supervisor made her get ALL of it out. I watched that episode about an hour ago and couldn’t help but think of that being one of the lowest jobs in the company. But Christ was willing to do that for us and show us His example.
The Best Example I could find…
In chapter 6 of the book of Matthew, will find this following scripture. It may be familiar to you:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
but deliver us from the evil one.
This is a great prayer. We pray it every Sunday. I have used this prayer when tucking my girl into bed. But, did you know that he said something right before that? He said:
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
In other words, He is saying, “watch how I pray.” Sure, there are other prayers that He used through His life, but this is an example he provided.
So, now what?
Look at how Jesus asks us to model after His behavior. Think of the attitude of teaching He used in all aspects of His ministry. He says to pick up our crosses and follow Him. He also said to
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. (Matthew 11:29)
If you are having trouble following him, ask! Bible.com’s scripture of the day is this:
Ask Him to lead you.
When I think about these things, a couple of songs come to mind. The first one is Lead Me by Sanctus Real. The last line seals it. “Father, Lead Me ’cause I can’t do this alone.”
The second I think about is Glorious Day by Casting Crowns. They sing this line, “Dwelt among men, my example is He.” He really is our example. He is such an incredible teacher.
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