It can be real easy to put on the “rose colored” glasses and talk about the “good, old days.” But we need to remember that at some point the “good, old days” included no indoor plumbing, no conditioned air in our homes, everybody walked or rode horses, no television or cell phones. Ok, so maybe some of it was good. After watching and reading the news for the past few months, I started thinking about the “good, old days.”
Lead by example. That’s a phrase we have all heard and at one time may have been the standard by which men lived, to some extent. I know that scandal has always been a part of society. It goes all the way back to Adam blaming Eve for the taking a bite of the fruit, all the while he was standing there and could have stopped it. When you look at what is going on today, are men leading by example? Are we leading by example?
Vince Lombardi is someone I have read a great deal about and admire for what he was able to accomplish. He was very successful as a football coach but his impact was also felt off the field and with men who never played for him. He was as flawed as anyone else, as we all are. Yet he lived by a standard that I think is lacking.
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” Vince Lombardi
Ed Cole wrote that the enemy of great is good. A pastor I watched the other day talked about how we admit to mistakes when in reality it is sin. Mistakes need to be corrected, Sin needs to be forgiven.
It seems there was a day when men caught with their proverbial hand in the cookie jar, would be contrite, ask for forgiveness, step down or step back then seek to get their life in order. Or am I just dreaming?
None of us are perfect. We all have sin in our lives. But are we passing the sin off as a mistake or dealing with it in the way God demands? He doesn’t suggest, doesn’t advise, but He demands we rid ourselves from the sin in our lives.
So do we lead by example? The answer is yes. That leads to other questions:
What example are we setting? Are we servant leaders or leaders looking to be served? Are we leading down the narrow path or the wide road? Who is following us? Do I have to be the leader?
Nature abhors a vacuum. If you aren’t leading your family, who is?
All too often we look to the “famous” to lead us. As much as I respect Vince Lombardi, he is not the example I should follow. Although, there are some aspects of his leadership I can adopt. We must be careful who we follow. Here is a quote from Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City, he made to the New York Times in April 2014, he said, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”
I have a feeling there is a surprise in store for the former mayor. When I was much younger, I idolized Denny McLain. He pitched for the Detroit Tigers and in 1968, he won 31 games and only lost 6. No one has come close to doing that since. The Tigers won the World Series that year also. Seems like someone to emulate? Not really. He has been convicted of drug trafficking, embezzlement and racketeering. Having served a couple of stints in prison since his career ended.
Men will fail us. Political leaders will fail us. Athletes, movie stars, singers and all of the famous will fail us. I will fail you.
Jesus will never fail us. As sure as any law of science or physics you could state, none come close to being as sure and never failing as Jesus. It can’t be said enough, Jesus is our example. Period.
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” John 13: 15-16 (NIV).
We can admire our fathers, provided we had one worth admiring. We can admire other men, some have some wonderful qualities. But none should be our example for leadership ahead of Jesus.
Follow the example of Jesus and lead your family and the others that follow to the cross!