When I was a boy playing little league football it seemed like every young boy who played the game had to have a hair cut just like Johnny U. Now, if you can remember that you are showing your age As a boy I wanted that Johnny U haircut, but I wanted to be able to throw like Joe Willie! All my life I have watched individuals look up to professional athletes as role-models. In recent years we have heard some of them proclaim boldly that they will not be role-models and no one should look up to them. I can only say, “Are you kidding us?” You think you can be paid millions of dollars, have your image splashed across every TV in America, and not have young boys want to be just like you? The same is true with singers, movie stars, and a hosts of other famous people in our country.
Steve Farrar in Anchor Man, tells a story from the life of Tommy Bolt—known years ago on the PGA tour for his elegant swing and his nasty temper. "Bolt was conducting a golf clinic one afternoon for a group of businesspeople. Bolt was showing them how easy the mechanics of the swing really were and to demonstrate, he turned to his teenage son and said, 'Son, imitate what I do for this gentleman.' His son immediately took his nine-iron and threw it into the lake." We can only hope that there are not too many young men who will demonstrate some of the recent antics of some of today's professional athletes.
The reality is that the rich and famous are not the only ones who are being watched. The truth is we are all role-models. Someone is watching every one of us. Some young person wants to be just like you. Parents, if we have young children or even teenagers in our home their ears are like recorders. They hear everything we say and will repeat some of it. They watch everything we do and many of them want to be like us. Preachers, there are young men who are looking up to us to see if how we live matches what we say. They want to know if our walk matches our talk. Teenagers, there are younger children who idolize you, they watch everything you do and they want to be just like you. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” We should always remember Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”
As we approach a New Year may God help all of us to be conscious of the fact that we are all role-models. May we live this year to bring glory to Him and to encourage those around us. Would you be willing to share some ways we can be better role-models in the New Year?
Dear Father, help us to realize that whoever we are someone is watching us. Help us to imitate You so that we can lead others to Christ.