I promise you, there are people following you. You might not think that you are influencing anyone, but there are surely people following the direction you are going because of your influence. I read a very sad story this morning in my time in the Bible. It is the story of the angels going into Sodom and Gomorrah to remove Lot and his family before the destruction would come on these cities. If you remember, Abraham had begged the angels not to destroy the city if there were even ten righteous people still there. This is sad in itself. Lot had gone to Sodom as a single man; had married; and had children that were old enough to be married at that time. When the angels went to the city, they were not able to find ten righteous people. Lot had not left much of an impression on his town.
The verse that crushed my heart was this commentary that explained what happened when Lot went to his sons-in-laws and daughters to encourage them to leave with them. It says, “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which married his daughters, and said, ‘Up, get you out of this place: for the LORD will destroy this city.’ But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law” (Genesis 19:14). What a sad commentary, not on the sons-in-laws, but on Lot! He had had his daughter’s lifetime to display to them trust-worthiness, but he had failed. When the most crucial time in their lives came, they saw him as a foolish old man who did not know what he was talking about.
There is an important lesson here for us to learn. If we talk one way, and we walk a different way, people will believe our walk before they believe our talk! Lot said all the right things in encouraging his sons-in-laws and daughters to leave with them, but his prior behavior did not give any power to his words. He seemed to them as some foolish man spouting out warnings about things that could not possibly happen! What a shame! No wonder Lot’s wife looked back! Some of what was happening in that city was her family burning to death!
Rather than pointing an accusatory finger at Lot, and getting on our “high-horse” to look down upon him, I think it would be good for each of us to examine our own hearts first. If we are honest we must admit that it is far easier for us to find fault in others than it is to admit our own. We all spend far too much time talking the talk. But do we give as much attention to walking the walk? I want to live today in such a way that I can influence my family to live godly lives. I want to be a pattern they can follow.