More than ever, our children and youth need to know and follow godly role models who are walking in the Truth of God’s Word.
Role models – from public to personal – have tremendous influence on us. Role models can be Athletes, Actors, Movie Stars, Musicians, Authors, Politicians, Scholars, Teachers, Coaches, Pastors, Bosses, Parents, and Friends. A role model is person who serves as an example whose behavior is imitated by others. “Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ,” the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1.
A role model is someone that we like or, at least, we like how other people like them and so we imitate what we hear and see. We talk like our role models, we think like our role models, we act like our role models. We imitate those whom we like, idealize, and sometimes idolize.
Role models can be public figures like Mickey Mantle and Josh Hamilton, Michael Jordan or King (LeBron) James, Tom Cruise to Justin Bieber, Marilyn Monroe to Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, Barak Obama and Sarah Palin, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, or Chuck Swindoll to Beth Moore.
For most of us, however, the role models who have had the greatest impact on our lives are not public figures, but rather personal friends. The individuals who have influenced us have walked through life with us transparently and consistently. The role models that God uses to transform us into the image of Christ also live biblically and sacrificially with the purpose of glorifying God.
The apostle Paul was that kind of role model to his younger friend, Timothy. His “manner of life” backed up his messages. He did not preach sacrifice and live in luxury. He gave to others far more than he received from them. He stood up for the truth even when it meant losing friends and, in the end, losing his life. His purpose was to lead others to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Paul was a servant, not a celebrity, who inspired Timothy to walk in the Truth of God’s Word. “You have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me” (2 Timothy 3:10-11a).
Through the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:14-17), we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. It is the Word of God that equips the people of God to do the work of God. He has prepared each of us and equipped all of us as believers in Christ to be role models for others to imitate us as we imitate Christ.
How are you guiding others to the Truth? How are you making the most of these difficult times in these last days? How are serving as a role model to the children or youth in your family? How are you building friendships with children and youth who need a godly example? Have you prayerfully asked God if he wants you to serve as a mentor to those in our community who need a Christ-like role model?
In a day when spirituality is fashionable and truth is subjective, you can guide others to the Total Truth of God and His World by serving as a role model.