Don’t believe what people they claim to be, believe what they show themselves to be.
If someone has to go around telling people that they are something, than they are usually the opposite of what they claim to be.
For example, if someone goes around telling everyone that they are a positive, happy person who doesn’t care what others think, then take a step back and watch how they treat and talk to people. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you’ll see that they are nasty, rude and treat people badly.
If someone really is a happy positive person, you’ll know it. You’ll see it in how they treat others, in how they talk to others and in how they carry themselves. You’ll see it in their eyes. It will radiate from within them.
If you look at all the great leaders of the past, you’ll see that they didn’t go around telling everyone that they were great leaders, they inspired people to follow them by the way they treated others. And by leading by example.
Let’s look at two examples.
We’ll start with Joseph. In Genesis 3:2-6 we read: As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.
And in Genesis 39:20-23, we read: But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.
In Genesis 41:39-40 we read: So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “You’re the man for us. God has given you the inside story—no one is as qualified as you in experience and wisdom. From now on, you’re in charge of my affairs; all my people will report to you. Only as king will I be over you.”
This is the mark of a true leader. Joseph didn’t go around boasting about how great he was of what king of man that he was. He always declared how great God is and walked in wisdom and integrity. God blessed Joseph because of his conduct. We see that Joseph inspired others to trust him and follow his lead because he was faithful and honest in everything that he did.
I could go on and on, about all the great leaders in the Bible and in history, Daniel, Moses, Joshua, Paul, Peter, Corrie Ten Boom, Mother Teresa,
Charles Finney, Billy Graham, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, but that would take to long.
Our Greatest example is Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. Jesus taught that He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Matthew 20:28
Jesus never lorded over people or bullied them. He was gentle and humble in heart. He lifted up the broken hearted, the outcast and the lonely. And He taught as to do the same.
Jesus taught us that It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds. Luke 6:45
So that is why we need to listen to who someone really is and not who they say they are. Pay attention to what comes out of people’s mouths when they think no one is watching. And to how they treat people.
Don’t waste your time trying to change them. Just do as Jesus taught us to do. He said to leave them alone and go you way. Just like He did to the Pharisees.
As it is written: Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” Matthew 15:14
You cannot help someone who doesn’t thing they need to change or doesn’t want help. So move on and pray for them.
So when someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time.