Not too long ago, an athlete was caught in some kind of illegal activity. He made the statement that he didn't want to be a role model. To that I said, "Too bad. You are one, no matter if you choose to be or not."
Then I thought about myself. I may not want to be a role model or to set an example as a Christian, but that is part of my job.
Each day I have my daughter, co-workers, neighbors, and just people I stand in line with at the grocery store watching me. My husband/pastor has asked this question before: If the people around you followed your example, would they be led to Christ? Do you lead a life in which you could say: If you follow my example, you'll see Jesus?
Let's face it. I'm either being a good example or a bad one. I'm either leading people to the Lord or deflecting them.
Do I find myself wanting to shun this responsibility and join the athlete in saying I'm not a role model? Yes. However, this isn't an option. So many of the people I come in contact with may only have me to depend on for the gospel. Many won't step into a church service to hear about Jesus. Many won't read the Bible to discover the gospel. But if I am shining the light of Christ and giving them a thirst for Him, they just might discover Him for themselves.
This is often called lifestyle evangelism. And even if I don't want the responsibility of being Jesus to others, I am still an example. I'm drawing them to Jesus or away from Him.
This idea can weigh heavy. My only hope to become a good role model and example is to go hard after Jesus. I have to continue to grow in Him through reading His Word and following its direction. I need to pray that God would help me be a good example.
I can't shirk this responsibility. Those people I have influence over are counting on me to be Christ so they can find Him for themselves.
How do you feel about being a role model for the gospel?