One day during medical school, I was told to perform a spinal tap. I had been instructed in the procedure by a skilled neurologist and had studied the procedure in my textbook. Sensing my trepidation, however, the neurology resident kindly suggested that he perform the spinal tap. He reviewed each step as I observed. His example gave me confidence and assurance.

Example — a visible lesson by another — supplies practical help. Almost ten years ago, our family felt the call of God to go to Budapest, Hungary. We understood this intellectually, but the practical aspects of going seemed an impossible hurdle. However, after visiting missionary friends in Riga, Latvia, we left encouraged. Their example of courage and obedience inspired us. They helped us jump the cavern between our call and the living out of that call. Their lives became the example that spurred us on.

Jesus’ entire life was an example. One such moment was when Jesus, The Master, The Rabbi, washed His disciples’ feet. He provided a visible expression of what it means to serve. In fact, at the end of washing their feet, Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17)

Examples can be powerful tools for enabling others. They can also be terribly costly.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (I Peter 2:21)


  • Are we learning from them?
  • Are we changed by them?
  • Are we living them for others?


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder