April 16

You should not profane my holy name. Leviticus 22:32

Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27

If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.   Catherine Aird

Being a role model is a huge responsibility, easy to mess up. Think about the people you’ve come into contact with this week: how they affected you, how they changed you. Think also about the more generalized role models that influence you; the social stereotypes and cultural icons that shape us simply because we live in this culture. There is no shortage good role models in this society, just an overabundance of bad ones. And so we must be wise. We must understand and own the role-modeling process.  And we must be good players of it.

God is the author of role-modeling. In the first place, God created each of us with the capacity and desire to learn. While we each have our own unique style and pace of learning, all of us have had plenty of turns as participants in the role modeling process. It’s one of the best ways to learn: keep your eye on someone more experienced than you. Child watches parent; student watches teacher; rookie watches veteran, and so the culture and wisdom of the ages is passed on.

If the greatest goal of our lives is to become like Jesus we must find those who are serving him well and imitate them as they imitate Christ. They are seldom found among the high profile, wealthy, influential individuals often held up as “role models.” True spiritual role models will usually be found among the low profile, humble, selfless servants who go about their business of following Christ whether anyone is watching or not.

When we think of role models, we think of those who we look up to, admire, and respect. We think of those that set an example for us to follow. We think of those that portray values and virtues that should be imitated.

Father, this is easier said than done. The very congregation that unites heroically against outside adversaries then divides bitterly over something like the flowers in the sanctuary. We’re only worthy of your gospel because we need it to live. Help our lives to be consistent with your grace so that we’re a lively part of your blessing to others. Amen.


Susan Hanson