“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” (NIV)
Most of us probably have a role model. A role model is someone you look up to, someone who provides you with a good example—something to aspire to in life.
For years I would have said my role model was Wayne Gretzky, the hockey player. But as we grow, most of our real role models are people we know.
For me—and for many of you—Jesus is our chief role model. It makes a lot of sense since we’re supposed to grow in our faith and become more like him. And I don’t want to underestimate that.
But we also can’t underestimate the power of the flesh-and-blood role models around us. Parents are often big role models. So are friends or siblings. Teachers and coaches are often influential role models.
And so are you.
Up to this point, you’ve probably been thinking about your own role models. But what if, right now, you were serving as a role model for someone else? This isn’t to put pressure on you. I just want you to know that you probably have more impact than you think.
I’ve met former addicts whose return to health was a source of inspiration to others. I’ve also met people struggling with depression or self-loathing or even “success,” whose authenticity in the midst of struggle was a handle of hope for a neighbour or young person.
When storyteller Ace Collins was asked who his role model was he replied, “Lassie!” (The Rough Collie dog from T.V.) “Lassie loves unconditionally,” he said. “Lassie is honest to a fault. Lassie will lay down her life for you. Lassie does not judge and is quick to forgive. Lassie always shares.”
Role models often show up in the strangest places. Including the mirror.
Today, put your best foot forward. Every word of encouragement and good decision you make is an investment in somebody else’s heart.
By Matthew Ruttan
- “Up!” is published 5 days a week (Tuesday to Saturday) and returns on February 14th.