I saw a bumper sticker on a car the other day that both amused and saddened me.
"Since I can't be a good example, I'll serve as a horrible warning."
The quip actually speaks to a profound Biblical teaching, namely, that every person in God's universe serves Him in revealing Truth, whether in positive or negative terms.
"Ye are the light of the world... There must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you" (Matthew 5:14; I Corinthians 11:19).
We cannot escape the truth that "in Him, we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Nor can we avoid the reality that our Heavenly Father "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11). We therefore serve to either reveal God by being a "vessel of mercy" through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or a "vessel of wrath" because we do not believe (Romans 9:22-23). Indeed, we'll either be a good example, or a horrible warning.
The machinations and movings of unbelievers greatly disturb us, and influence our lives. However, the purposeful working of God determines our lives as we trust in the Lord Jesus with hearts of devoted submission. We live according to His environment, His economy, and His eternal purpose in Christ. Thus, we glance at the world's influence, recognizing that its winds will sometimes ruffle our hair and perhaps even blow a shingle off our roof, as God allows. Our gaze, however, is fixed upon the heart and hand of God who coordinates all things in our lives for the good of conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29). Nothing approaches born again believers in the Lord Jesus that has not been determined or allowed by God. Every moment is foreseen, and Divine plans are already formed to deal with every contingency. Thus, whatever comes to us through the world, the devil and the flesh arrives as the unwitting servant of the God wise enough to work all things together for our best interests.
In both time and eternity, creation rests safely in the providence of God. As do our lives, wherein both the just and the unjust have their place in our Heavenly Father's good purposes. May our necessary glances at the world in which we live lead to the gaze fixed upon the Heart that assures us, and the Hand that secures us...
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon Thee, because He trusteth in Thee."