Parents are always looking for role models for their children. Whether it is a sports figure, musician, political leader, or other public figure, the temptation is to motivate by means pointing to an exemplary life. The problem is that often those lives are not exemplary and much of what is known about them is crafted fiction. In much the same way that portrait photos can be airbrushed to remove flaws and sound recordings can be mixed to enhance the vocal presentation, much of what popular culture shares about public figures is crafted and arranged to communicate commitment, wholesomeness, and integrity. Very often, those “heroes” turn out to be charlatans, impostors, and flagrant sinners.
That is why our standard of excellence and virtue needs to come from the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is our perfect role model and our inspiration for living an exemplary life. In addition, among His beloved children we often find useful examples of people who live righteous lives. These examples are better represented by individuals we know “up close and personal,” rather than ones depicted in the media with only partial or doctored information provided. When lives can be witnessed day in and day out with personal relationships, it is less likely that fabrication will rule the day.
The example of a woman in my church comes to mind. This young mother makes it a point to assist families who are sick or bedridden. She finds time to help them by babysitting, cleaning, or providing transportation. She also directs the choir, participates in organizing church gatherings, and donates her time and effort as she sees a need. She is also extremely fun to be around. Her desire and willingness to put her faith into action makes any association with her a benefit to all who know her. In the process of serving, she becomes an excellent role model for the young women of the church.
The Bible condemns the worshipping of idols (in whatever form them appear) and discourages seeking out heroes. Rather, the designation given to those who put their faith into action is simply -- the saints. I have described one such saint and know that the building of the Kingdom of God will come from just such persons.