Our actions matter. No matter how large or small, the choices and actions we make always affect someone else. A winter parking lot is the perfect example.
Recently, I was the first person to park in a snow-covered parking lot. The lines and markings were completely hidden from sight. I felt a great deal of pressure. I knew that my actions would influence the way everyone else parked. I was either going to get things started properly or cause complete disorder.
We don’t live in a bubble. Our actions matter. What we do has an influence on the others around us. People form opinions and pick up habits by spending time with us. Smiling at someone in the grocery store or holding the door for someone is a simple way to brighten their day. Just as easily we can set someone’s day amiss when we cut them off in traffic or speak biting words. Our actions matter.
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, we are told to “take heed of [our]selves” (1 Timothy 4:16) and “be an example in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). It is a great responsibility to be an example to others. Think of the shame it would be to steer someone in the wrong direction.
Be mindful that setting a good example, and keeping guard over our words and actions is not about presenting ourselves as being something greater than what we are. That would be prideful. Rather, we are to live our lives in a way that pleases God; a life where we can help and encourage others…because our actions matter.