In life, we always have a shadow. And we always having someone walking in our shadow. Who’s following in your shadow? Where are you leading them?
As an older sister, this realization didn’t hit me until I was seven. Of course, once it hit me, I naturally rejected it. I didn’t want anyone copying me. I wanted to be the original Amie who was as free as that tumbleweed you see tumbling about. But, the Bible teaches us that God didn’t design our lives to be like that.
God has a reason for putting you in your family. If you’re an older sibling, you’re put there to make a difference in your younger sibling’s life. Whether that difference is for good or bad, it is in your power to decide.
If you don’t have younger siblings, you probably have some young person looking up to you. I’m very popular in the nursery at our church, and I often have to keep from smiling when I hear a younger girl saying she wants to be just like me when she grows up, or a little boy saying that he likes me best…Next to his mommy, of course. But when I start to think of that, what a huge responsibility it is! To have younger people looking up to you, ready to follow in your footsteps, and say what you say, is very sobering.
Mark 9:42 says,
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. (ESV)
This verse often causes me to pause and consider. Didn’t I cause my little sister to sin the other night? Didn’t I do something stupid that might cause a child to sin? It’s something that can drive you crazy, watching your every move as you think about these little people’s futures.
I remember being five. A teenager was just so cool. If they noticed me, or talked to me, I was in raptures. I wanted to imitate them, to be like them, and to be liked by them. Often the girls I wanted to imitate weren’t the ones I’d imitate today.
But I want to be that girl in the five-year-old’s life that can lead them to the Savior from sins. The one to take them by the hand and draws them to those sacred Scriptures so full of wisdom, stories, and everlasting love.
But we’re human, and we mess up. And that’s another thing we have to teach them. It’s okay to apologize to a child. In fact, you need to tell them you mess up, and that you didn’t mean to tease them, or hurt them. We’re all human, and the Bible says,
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16 KJV)
We’re supposed to admit our faults to each other. Even to that little child that looks up to you with admiration. Or your sibling, who you’re sure will gloat over your failure. Honestly, every time I’ve told my siblings that I’ve sinned and I’m sorry, it’s brought us closer. They usually don’t rub it in, plus they already knew I blew it.
Where are you leading those walking in your shadow? Are you leading them down the narrow path? Or are you walking down the wide road with them?