Traditional Values

#FlashbackFriday: My Dad Helped Me Grow in Faith and I’ll Always Be Thankful

To keep making spiritual progress, look to individuals just like this

After 40 years in the heating and air-conditioning trade, my father, Jerry Day, put down his tools for the final time.

It was a bittersweet moment. My dad really isn’t the retiring kind, but he and my mom agreed the timing was right.

I’m so proud of my father, especially for the way he carried himself within our community for so many years. As a Christian, my dad wanted to honor God by maintaining a great testimony in the marketplace, and that’s exactly what he did.

Honesty and integrity were the hallmarks of his business. When he made promises, he kept them, whether it was a repair price quoted to a customer or the time he would arrive for a service call.

As I look back over my father’s career, it’s clear his success wasn’t a solo project. God granted him the physical strength and mental energy to keep going — and my mother was there with encouraging words.

Today, with the stress of business in the rearview mirror, Dad has plenty of time to exercise his gifts as a people person. He loves treating friends to breakfast, sharing an uplifting joke with his pastor, and praying for his eight grandchildren.

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For more than 40 years, I’ve watched him embrace blessings — and export them to others. This is what successful people do in all fields of life.

In a similar way, the Bible gives us real-life examples of people we should surround ourselves with to make positive spiritual progress.

Here are three categories worth noting.

1.) Look to someone ahead of you. As my father did and still does for me, all of us need an older, wiser person or persons in our lives who can provide good counsel when we need it most.

During the first century when Christianity was blossoming, rookie pastors such as Timothy and Titus led new churches. These upstarts needed a mentor — someone who could set a good example, provide essential guidance, and even deliver a friendly rebuke when needed. For them, that mentor was the Apostle Paul.

All of us, no matter who we are or what we do, need mentors. We need someone who can cut through the fog of confusion, deliver sage advice, and keep us on the right path.

Counselors give wisdom (Proverbs 15:22), so make sure you have at least one seasoned person in your life who is “out in front” of you and is willing to share smart advice to help you grow.   

2.) Have someone next to you. As adults, we benefit from lasting friendships with people our own age who share our same season of life.

Having a close friend is more than fun; it’s having someone you can trust, talk to, and pray with when life gets hard. When Paul first became a Christian, the Lord brought Barnabas into his life (Acts 9:27) for encouragement and support.

These two friends became a phenomenal team and impacted their world for Jesus. God doesn’t want us to go it alone (Genesis 2:18), so we should open our hearts and lives to faithful friends.

3.) Help those coming up behind you. Every day in your home, school, or workplace, younger people are watching how you navigate life. The question is, will you slow down to invest in them? Will you share some of your wisdom and experience, helping them avoid the worst landmines?

In the Bible, Timothy offers a great example of a younger man who was eager for wise counsel and a godly example. He grew into a great leader, because Paul took the time to pour truth and wisdom into his life (1 Timothy 4:12). Look behind you, and you’ll discover a Timothy who is hungry for your expertise.

And to remember one remarkable faith leader who did so much for so many, check out this video:

Pastor Ryan Day is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he has served for 19 years. 

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