“What if everyone in the world was just like me?” – Jon Courson
About 25 years ago, Nike ran an Air Jordan commercial in which Charles Barkley proclaimed that he’s not a role model. It would be nice if that was true, but it isn’t. Now while I agree with Barkley’s proclamation that “parents should be role models” and that just because he can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean he should raise your kids, there’s a simple and inescapable truth that no one can refuse to influence those around them. We can refuse to be a positive role model, but for Barkley, me, you, or anyone else to think that we can just say, “Don’t do what I do.” and then believe that our behavior won’t impact the lives we touch (both directly and indirectly) is both ignorant and selfish. Therefore, if I’m going to accept the reality and consequences of my example, I need to do a few things:
- Take an inventory of who I’m influencing in this life. For most of us, that’s our family (spouse, kids, grandkids, and extended family) and friends, but who else might be watching and learning how to live better (or worse) from me?
- Take a look in the proverbial mirror to see who I am publically, privately, secretly, and consistently (from a Jon Courson teaching), because who I am consistently, regardless of whether it’s in public, private, or secret will affect my mind and heart, which impacts my behavior and how the lives of those around me are shaped.
- Live intentionally in a way that leaves things better than when I arrived.
My Girls, the ultimate role model gut-check question is (something that I am trying to ask myself more and more these days), “What would the world look like if everyone was just like me?” I Hope and Pray that the answer to that question leads you to embrace the fact that you are a role model and accept the challenge to live in Faith, Hope, and Love throughout your life, and in doing so leave everyone you meet a little better off than before.
Challenge Question: Does anything need to change to set a better example TODAY?