The Pluses and Minuses Of Role Models
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them — yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10
We all need good role models. But when you devote your life to being like somebody else, you risk becoming something God doesn’t want you to be. Always remember, your ‘heroes’ wrestle with blind spots and character flaws too. Paul said, ‘I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God’ (v. 9). The same thing with Peter: when Cornelius sent for him, we’re told that as he ‘entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself”’ (Acts 10:25-26). If you’re successful in life, you’ll adopt that same attitude. The danger in hero worship comes from forfeiting your individuality and missing the path God has mapped out for you personally. Some of the lessons God teaches us may be similar, but another person’s purpose, gifting, journey, and time-frame will be different from yours. For example, a friend starts a business and makes money, but when you quit your job and follow in his footsteps you go broke. Or a co-worker wears something that looks great on her, but on you the same outfit looks like a sack tied in the middle. God is ‘jealous’ concerning you (see Deuteronomy 4:24). Why? Because He wants to protect you from anything that would rob you of your uniqueness, or threaten your relationship with Him. Bottom line: if you want to be on safe ground, make Jesus your role model and you’ll win every time.
Heavenly Father, thank You for others that can help me and guide me, but help me always remember that YOU are the perfect model I seek to reflect. In Jesus’ Name, Amen