“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Like it or not, You are a Role Model
It seems like there is an endless, ongoing debate about whether professional athletes should be considered role models. As a father, I err on the side of caution when encouraging my children to look up to celebrities, athletes or otherwise. But I am often struck by how strong that influence is on them, regardless of my objections.
My son plays baseball for a travel team full of 8-year-olds. When we have a break between games during our tournaments, we often go and watch some of his older friends play. I am always amazed and the way he looks at and talks about the 10 and 11 year old players.
“Whoa, Dad! He hit it all the way to the fence.”
“It’s so cool that he gets to pitch.”
These are not major leaguers. These are not even college or high school players. My son is a fan of older players that he sees in the hallways of his school. He loves to watch them play, and he wants to be just like them. They are his role models.
In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul tells the Christians there to “imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. “ (1 Corinthians 11:1 NLT)
That is such a bold statement. We have professional athletes every day rejecting the fact that others look up to them, even some that claim to be Christians. Yet Paul is so aware of his role that he encourages people to try and be like him. He makes it clear that he is not perfect, but he does try his best to imitate Christ and he encourages others to follow his lead.
Whether you are an aspiring athlete, a church league softball star, a little league coach, or a backup middle school point guard, I guarantee that somebody is looking to you for an example of how to conduct themselves on and off of the playing field. That is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
As you go about conducting your business this week, think back to Paul’s example. Live your life in such a way that gives you confidence in saying, “live like me, as I do my best to live like Jesus.”
– Jamie Boggs
(PHOTO CREDIT: Rob Bixby)