By Mike Riley

The story is told of a Christian high school senior who was honored as one of the best and brightest in his community because he provided a forceful demonstration of integrity.

When his school team was given the word “auditorium” in a regional spelling bee, he glanced down to ponder his response and noticed that the word was printed on the microphone stand. He called this to the attention of the judges who responded with a more difficult word. The young man did what he knew was right whether others noticed or not.

We don’t know when our actions may become an example to others — we’re always on display. But if we live each day to honor Jesus, our behavior will model His righteous life (Gal. 2:20; 1 John 2:5-6), no matter who is watching.

Uprightness and honor should be goals for Christians of every age. Paul told Timothy:

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV).

Psalms 40:9-12

“I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest.

I have not hidden Thy righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation.

I have not concealed Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.

Thou, O Lord, wilt not withhold they compassion from me; Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me.

For evils beyond number have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs on my head; and my heart has failed me.”

As Christians, one of our goals in life should be to change the world around us for good while never compromising ourself — one person at a time (Acts 10:38 NKJV; cf. 2 Timothy 2:1-2 NKJV; 1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV).

O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
 —W.J. Kirkpatrick