The truth about role models: (1) We reflect those we admire; (2) Our values align with those we invite into our sphere of influence; and (3) The effectiveness of our faith depends, in part, upon God’s grace and our success in imitating Christ. 

With respect to the first, the people we admire offer clues as to whom we really are and who we seek to emulate.  We tend to live up, or live down, to those we admire. It’s important to distinguish between admiring something a person says or does and “hero worship” – that is, admiring a person in his or her entirety. That is because no one is perfect. We tend to overlook, “turn a blind eye,” or excuse the bad parts of someone we place on a pedestal, which may be one of the reasons why God asks that we worship no one other than God. (Exodus 20:3)

With respect to the second, our friends reflect who we are and who we are likely to become. It is important that we choose our friends wisely. It is better to be alone than to have friends that will lead us away from God. If we hang out with people who have a good relationship with God, we are more likely to improve our relationship with God also. If we run with a bad crowd or people who are Christians in name only, we are likely to become like them. (Proverbs 13:20)

Finally, with respect to the third, the New Testament suggests that we are to imitate Christ to the best of our ability. Christ is the role model that God has provided for all men and women, of all races and nationalities, to follow. Perhaps that is what Christ meant when He said, “come, follow me.”  It is important not only to focus on Christ as our teacher and role model, but to remember that we too will have opportunities to serve as role models in Christ for those whose lives we touch. We will be imperfect, yes, but we are meant to do our best in order to serve God while we are able.

And only in God are all things are possible.

Image may be subject to copyright, from film “Passion of the Christ”

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