“Be ye, therefore, followers of God as dear children.” (Ephesians 5:1)
Have you ever thought about how many people may be following in your footsteps? Somebody is. Maybe one somebody, maybe hundreds.
Parents have children following in their steps. Oh, they may rebel against the rules we set and the paths we try to get them to walk in, but sooner or later, those kids are going to be saying and doing a whole lot of what mom and dad say and do — whether mom and dad want them to or not.
Teachers have children following in their footsteps. Certainly those students who like you and respect you will imitate you. But even students who believe teachers are way too strict and who rebel against class rules and school rules, eventually end up remembering, believing, doing, and saying a good deal of what those teachers believed, did, and said. I know from years of experience as a classroom teacher that often the most rebellious students in the classroom end up respecting and following the teacher who cared enough to discipline them.
If you’re a husband or wife, you have a spouse following in your footsteps. You two may not agree on everything, but after years of living with you, your spouse has picked up some of your habits, some of your attitudes, some of your beliefs, and some of your goals. So he or she is following right along many of the same paths of thinking, feeling, and acting that you are living in on a daily basis.
If you are a businessman, you have employees following in your steps. Sometimes they are choosing to be like you, and sometimes they are just being faithful to do their jobs. But, either way, wherever you end up in your business, your employees will end up too.
If you’re the leader of any church group, civic organization, volunteer corps, or unofficial neighborhood activity, you have people following in your footsteps. If you’ve been given the gift of organization or the gift of inspiring other people to get involved in social interaction of any kind, you have a great many people who will want to imitate you and will, whether for good or ill, follow in the paths they see you walking in.
And if you are a good friend — to anyone — your friends will follow in your steps. When one person feels loved by another, he wants to keep himself close to the one who loves him, and in that effort, without even realizing it, he will often begin to think and act as his loving friend thinks and acts.
Yes, we all have people following in our steps — whether we want them to do so or not. So it behooves us to stop every once in a while and take a look at where we are going and what kind of footprints we are leaving for others to walk in. The Word of God has something very helpful to say about that subject:
Ephesians 5:1 says, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” Wherever we are, whatever we do, if we will stop long enough to ask ourselves if God would be comfortable doing what we’re doing, choosing what we’re choosing, or saying what we’re saying, we can save ourselves — and all of those who will be following in our footsteps — a great deal of trouble and grief. And it isn’t difficult to find God’s footsteps. The are embedded indelibly in His Word.
Following God will always lead us to a right place, at a right time, in a right way. Following in God’s footsteps will always lead us in paths of integrity, courage, truth, love, and life. And, oh, what joy there is in knowing we have been the one to “lead” another into those paths as well!
(Thanks to BeautifulFreePictures.Com for the unique photo.)