Setting the Example

This article is authored by +Fr. Nicholas Louh with Commentary following from Paula Marchman, MA, LAPC:

Our Bible verse today comes from 1 Timothy 4:12. It states, “set an EXAMPLE in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith…“. Friends, I want to talk to you today about setting the example. Friends, every encounter we are in, every communication we have, every action we take, we are representing God.

We are His ambassadors on this earth. And sometimes, if we are not careful, we act one way, when we are around people who we are trying to impress, people that we feel are important and have something to offer. During those times, we can put our best face forward. We can be kind, courteous, caring, generous. But then, in another setting, maybe when we are behind closed doors, when there are not people to impress, when we are around people who we may not have much to offer us, sometimes we can take those people for granted. We may not be courteous, forgiving or compassionate. Sometimes, we can send MIXED MESSAGES.

But I want you to understand this important principle…that the people who are in your life, the people who you may believe are important or unimportant are not there by some random act in history, but because God wants YOU to take them where HE wants them to be. He wants you to set the example and to lead them in our conversations and in our actions. Understand that our actions can either bring people closer to God or move them farther apart. So go out today not sending MIXED messages, but rather GODLY messages. Set the example.


As married couples we too reflect God’s message of love to those God has brought into our lives. So how we relate and connect to each other as husband and wife is a witness to God’s Kingdom and an amazing message for those in our lives!

It is so easy to take for granted those we live with day in and day out but this oneness in marriage is a powerful, clear message of God’s Plan for His creation.  ~ Paula Marchman


Rev. Dr. Nicholas G. Lough is the Parish Priest for St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church in Jacksonville, Florida.
Paula Marchman is an Orthodox Christian Counselor and serves as Co-Chairman of the Family Life Ministry under the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta.