“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 11:1
In this commercial, Charles Barkley, one of the greatest NBA players of all time, emphatically says, "I am not a role model."
Barkley is trying to warn others about the dangers of picking other people to be their role model, as humans will undoubtedly make mistakes and will often fall well short of their lofty expectations. I must say I have to agree with him. But I have listened to Christians use verbiage very similar to his when trying to convince others they shouldn't imitate what they say and do. Unfortunately, this rebuttal isn't nearly as legitimate when used by followers of Jesus.
Now don't get me wrong, because we (Christians) are humans like anyone else, we will inevitably make mistakes. So we should always be directing others' attention away from us and onto Jesus, the perfect one who is our ultimate role model, But at the same time, we have to realize people are paying extra special attention to us because of our stated faith, so what we say and what we do really does matter.
Christians, when we are declaring to the world that Jesus is our role model, we are definitively saying we want to look like him. ¹ ²
I know it might be easier to tell others we aren't their role model, but maybe we should be asking ourselves, "Do we look anything like the one we claim is ours?"
¹ I hesitated to refer to Jesus as our role model in this blog post because I know he is so much more than that. But in the dictionary, a role model is defined as "a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated." So by this definition, Jesus should certainly be a role model for those of us who claim to be a Christian.
² If we want to look like Jesus, one of the first things we must admit is that we can't do it on our own. We must, instead, let God transform us.