There’s not a person living who does not influence someone, either for good, or for evil. And thus, whether we like it or not, every one of us is a role model to someone. For example, one such role model we find in the New Testament, is the apostle Paul. He boldly held himself up as a pattern for all Christians to follow. He stated, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). He knew that his serving as a godly role model, was contingent upon his faithfulness in following the Lord.
Paul commended the Thessalonians because they followed him and the Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:6). And because of their godly influence as role models, they not only became examples to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia, but they were also well-known for their faith toward God (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8).
As we pattern our lives after Paul, who himself patterned his life after the Lord, we in turn become role models who are being copied by folks we associate with. Let us ask ourselves, “What is the quality of our spiritual influence? Is it negative or positive?”
Beloved, our spiritual influence is either one or the other — it can never be neutral (Revelation 3:14-15). No one can ever truly say, “I’m not a role model.” For the cause of Christ, let’s be the best godly role model we can be! (Matthew 5:16; cf. Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Peter 2:11-12).
—Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets