A couple of months ago, I did a two part blog about being a role model; and lately, I’ve been thinking about something closely related.
Having role models.
Speaking from my own life, I can testify that God has put many people in my life to help me grow. Some of have been friends, others have been teachers/leaders, while still others public figures who I’ve never met in person. At a time when I was struggling in my faith after a particular incident at my old church, God brought fellow Christians who became like a mini-church into my life. More recently, I’ve been inspired by authors like Emily P. Freeman, whose books shine in authenticity, and Karen Kingsbury, who managed to be super -successful in the humble genre of realistic-Christian-fiction.
I’m sure that if you looked to your own life, you can find similar examples of role models and friends who have helped shape the person you’ve become. Maybe it was a teacher, friend, or writer. Regardless of who it was, I believe that we all have crossed paths with people who have impacted our lives profoundly.
Since role models are people who influence us, I believe it’s important to pay attention to who we’re looking up to. From my own readings of Scripture and my own life, I’ve found that there are a couple of important things to keep in mind.
- When you look to a person for guidance and wisdom, make sure that person is looking to God-Hebrews 13:7 says “Remember your leaders who spoke God’s word to you. Imitate their faith as you consider the way their lives turned out.” It’s super important to have role models who share our faith. By having Christian role models, we get the chance to see what living out our faith looks like ten, twenty, and thirty years from now. It can also help us stay on the straight-and-narrow path.
- Make sure the person is wise, and known for making good choices.-1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.“” Though no one is perfect, it’s important to find role models/friends who are committed to making good choices and following Biblical standards. As we set guidelines for ourselves of what we will and won’t do in life, it’s important to find others committed to similar patterns of living.
- Be sure that the people who you consider role models have good character-Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” This one is similar to the last one, but focuses on the character qualities of the person, or the “fruit of the Spirit” As Christians, we’re called to live out this fruit, and thus, the people we look up to should also share in these traits.
- Above all, always remember to ultimately follow in the footsteps of Jesus-John 8:12 says “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” Lastly, our ultimate role model should be Jesus, who calls us to a radical kind of grace. He taught to turn the other cheek in a world filled with violence, to love our enemy, and pray for those who persecute us. He is and always will be the best role model a person can have.
Who has impact your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!