“Who’s Your Role Model?”
“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.”
– Philippians 3:17
In 1993, Charles Barkley was on his way to winning an NBA, MVP award and only Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls stood in his way of a Championship.
Before the days of social media, television ad campaigns were extremely important in branding and influencing the consumer. The “Just Do It” ads from Nike were growing stale and they found themselves losing market share to Reebok.
So, Nike’s ad agency created a commercial that seemed perfect for Barkley’s outgoing personality and brash powerful game: “I am not your role model,” he famously said. “Parents should be role models. Just because I can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”
Strong words from a man who wielded a lot of influence, whether he cared to admit it or not. As you can imagine, Barkley received a lot of attention for his statement; some praised, others criticized. While his message meant well, it didn’t embrace the fact that we are influenced by many worldly things. Young impressionable kids, some of whom may not have had a strong family to learn from, look at athletes, celebrities, etc. as role models.
When we put our hope in this world, we are going to be let down – we’re living in a sinful, fallen world. Paul and the early Church encountered numerous people and groups that wanted to change or defeat their movement. Continuously Paul instructed us to constantly focus on the Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us, and use Godly followers “as a model,” not the world around us.
If you don’t have a spiritual mentor, pray for guidance, and seek one out. Be in God’s Word to know what attributes and character traits you should look for. Ultimately, let Jesus be your role model.
Pray: Father, help me to be a strong role model for Christ to those around me. Don’t let me take for granted what Your call to action is: Love You and love others, and serve them well. In thoughts and deeds, I want You to be my role model, and let my light shine before others so that they may see my good works, and glorify You in Heaven.
First Baptist Broken Arrow