Monday Morning Devotion-September 27, 2021
Being a Role Model
You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1
Hello role model! Yes, you Mr./Mrs./Ms. are a role model. You may not think of
yourself in that light, but you are a role model to someone, whether good or bad. We all are.
Checking out the definition of role model online to make sure we are all on the same page I found this: role model- "a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated." The translation of the term was available in 100+ languages. We will stick to this one in English.
Although it can be expanded to read: "A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people."
Wikipedia attributes the coining of the phrase to sociologist Robert K. Merton, but we know better. It goes back to the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Corinth around
A. D. 54 or 55.
Was Paul being an egotist when he told people to imitate him, i.e. look to him as a role model? No. LAB (Life Application Bible) explains: "Why did Paul say, 'follow my example'? Paul wasn't being arrogant---he did not think of himself as sinless. At the time, however, the Corinthian believers did not know much about the life and ministry of Christ. Paul could not tell them to imitate Jesus because the Gospels had not yet been written, so they did not know what Jesus was like. The best way to point these new Christians to Christ was to point them to a Christian whom they trusted. Paul had been in Corinth almost two years and had built a relationship of trust with many of these new believers."
In his book of devotions (Uncommon: The Daily Challenge) Tony Dungy writes; "Everyone is a role model to someone whether good or bad. We all have influence. We may not feel worthy, but people may be watching and following our example when we aren't aware that they are doing it."
Stop and think about it. Has there been a time or times in your life where someone brought up something enlightening or inspiring that you had said or did? Maybe it was something that you considered inconsequential. You were surprised they had remembered it (you had pretty much forgotten it) and especially that it had an effect on them.
Dungy continues: "We may think our behavior is just for ourselves; but that's not really how life works. Since you cannot help being a role model why not be a good one?"
Since you may not have thought about your life, specifically, in terms of being a role model here are some ideas to consider that might provide some help.
While no one is flawless there are certain traits role models have that can be developed or improved upon:
1. Good role models are positive, calm, and confident in themselves.
2. Don't be afraid to be unique. Be proud of who you are.
3. Communicate with everyone. That includes being a good listener as well
as a good talker,
4. Show respect and concern for others. This speaks volumes about how others will
5. Be well-rounded. Be a learner who is not afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
Don't be afraid to surround yourself with smarter people.
6. Nobody is perfect. Have humility and admit mistakes.
7. Do good things outside of your job or in areas of your daily life. Helping others
is the key. (thanks to Cayenne Consulting for these suggestions--- www.caycon.com)
We are role models whether we are intentionally trying to be or not. For those who are parents and/or grandparents the way life is modeled to children stays with them and helps create a better world. First, we need self-confidence to do this. We need to believe that we can do it. This comes from putting our trust in the Lord.
Confidence is an essential quality of a role model especially when it comes to dealing with children. "One of the best ways to build confidence is to exhibit a positive attitude and to teach through encouragement. Setting high expectations and showing disappointment in a child's failure to reach them is only setting them up for failure.
Encourage your child, reward their hard work towards their goals with kind words and praise their efforts. These things build confidence. Kids need a confident role model that teaches them to be confident too. (https://familyfocusblog.com)
Obviously, a role model must be flexible. The family focus blog says to imagine a car that also turns into a submarine, a plane and a spaceship. There are some situations where it might be best for it to fly, but others will demand it become a submarine. Trust me that's the way the Lovely Susette and I feel sometimes---two seniors trying to raise a super-energetic granddaughter. "OK, honey is it my time to be the submarine or the spaceship, today?" :).
In life, trying one approach for every situation is destined to fail. Knowing when to be relaxed, mindful, dedicated, humorous or intense is the key. Keep on trying. Keep on adjusting.
When you sincerely try to be a good role model the Lord will not let you fail.
Prayer: Lord, help us to never weary or waiver in our determination to be a good role model.