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A couple weeks ago, I sat at our dining room table writing a devotional. As I tapped away on my laptop, I talked out loud to myself.

“Don’t forget that maybe you are the lighthouse in someone else’s storm…”

My oldest son chose that moment to walk past the table. Without missing a beat, he said,

“Don’t forget that maybe you are the shipwreck in someone else’s storm.”

(That incident pretty much sums up life with three teenage boys, if you were wondering. They are very quick with the quips and one-liners!) 🙂

But after I finished laughing, I realized there’s a lot of truth to what he said.

Our lives will be an example to those around us, but it’s up to us what kind of an example that will be.

Sadly, we can all think of someone in our life who made repeated wrong choices.

Someone who had everything going for them, who knew the truth of God’s Word, and still chose the path of destruction.

Someone who insisted on sailing closer and closer to the rocks until they were dashed to pieces upon them.

Though it’s heart-breaking, it can serve as a reminder to us of the devastation of sin. Watching others deal with the consequences of sin can strengthen our resolve to stay faithful to the commands in God’s Word.

On the other hand, we can also think of someone in our life who has been a lighthouse to us. Perhaps you watched them stand strong in faith when their world was crumbling, and it encouraged you to stay the course.

Or maybe you observed as they put one foot in front of the other, even while they were weak, refusing to quit.

Perhaps they came along side you in the darkness of your storm, wrapped their arms around you, and bore you up in prayer, even as the devil tried to smash you against the rocks.

Shipwrecks and lighthouses.

One protects in the storm, the other is devastated by the storm.

I know which one I want to be.

How about you?

Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition…” (I Corinthians 10:11) 

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)