I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw - Proverbs 24:32 NIV
Growing up, I loved to play ping pong. Those who know me from back home are aware that I am a pretty good player (I honed my skills at the local college that I attended and that was one of the reasons I was on academic probation).
I was playing ping pong with my son down in the basement the other day. I was experimenting with shots that I haven’t tried in quite some time. After volleying for a period of time, we decided to play a “real” game.
My son is really good! I had to dig deep and reach into my bag of tricks to beat him. His hand eye coordination is better than mine, so I had to rely on angles and ball placement in order to win. If I hadn’t drawn on that reservoir of experience that I had built up over the years, he would have beaten me.
An amazing thing happened in the subsequent games that we played (he is so competitive that he wasn’t going out like that). Trey starting replicating some of the same shots that I was doing! He had observed what I was doing and was utilizing some of the same strategies that I employed earlier to beat him. He began implementing angles and shot placement.
After we finished, (I still beat him by the way in the other games that we played, just sayin’) I asked what made him change the way he played. He looked at me and said that he watched me and saw my success. So he decided to do the things that he observed me doing while we were playing. He felt that in order to be successful in beating me, he needed to adopt some of the things that I was doing.
The question that I would like to ask is this: how many of you have the chance to model successful behavior to those who look up to you? More importantly, how many of you in that position will embrace the opportunity? As I was able to see when playing a game of ping pong with my son, there are people watching you that can benefit from your experience.
Men, it is incumbent that we model the right behavior and provide an example for those in our circle of influence to emulate. Oftentimes, we have the benefit of experience and all one needs to do is to observe how we conduct ourselves. It may be something as simple as telling your wife that you love her in front of your kids. The key is to make yourself available and do it on a consistent basis.
We need to be focused on providing the proper standard of excellence for our kids to emulate. If you’re not doing it now or feel that you are incapable, start with something relatively small and graduate to larger things in the future. Each of us have something to contribute in the way of passing on positive life experiences to others. There are people that are missing out on what we have to offer. Let's commit to making an impact on those around us by showing them the benefit that comes from observing us.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.