“Demonstration is the purest form of training.” – George B. Wright, Sr.
It has been said when it comes to parenting, that values are more often caught than taught. Parents, teachers, coaches, and supervisors who demonstrate how to do something right, have a better chance of helping those they lead to get it right themselves.
Jesus was exemplary when it came to leading by example as He poured His life into twelve men for three years. One powerful example comes to mind around the topic of forgiveness. Jesus preached about forgiving others, but it was when He was unjustly dying on the cross and publically prayed, asking for God’s forgiveness – “Father, forgive them. They just don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34) – that the disciples began to understand.
Earlier in the temple, Jesus had pointed out all the people loudly dropping their tithes and offerings into metal containers, only to praise a poor widow for her sacrificial gift. She gave the most in God’s eyes because she gave all that she had. This would make more sense later as Jesus demonstrated His all by giving His life on the cross.
Another time Jesus explained that “He didn’t come to call the righteous but sinners” (Luke 5:32). Like a doctor who needs to help those who are sick, not the healthy. Jesus again lived this out when He chose a crooked tax collector like Matthew to be one of his disciples.
Over and over Jesus modeled that demonstration is the purest form of training. So, leaders, teachers, coaches, and especially those who disciple Christians in how to walk in faith, make sure you are teaching by example – just like Jesus did. You will be amazed at the results.