“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”
3 John 1:11
Who are your role models? Who is the person (or people) that you look up to the most? When I was a kid, my role models used to be professional athletes. When I got a little older, it became the musicians in my favorite band. I changed my clothes and my hair to look more like them. I did what I saw them do. I wanted the same guitars they played. I wanted to be like them.
It’s common for kids to have role models that they look up. I think it’s safe to say that every kid growing up looks up to someone, real or imagined, that they try to imitate. As a young boy, I remember often imitating my dad or my grandfather, trying to do what they did and learn from them. We all have those people, for better or worse.
John recognizes this tendency of human development and applies it to our spiritual maturity as well. Which brings us back to the question, who are your role models? John says that we should not be imitating what is evil, but what is good. So, whoever your role model is, are they following Christ? Do they live a life that is worthy of the calling of Jesus? If not, or if you’re not sure, then why are you following them? Why are you modeling your life after someone who isn’t modeling theirs after Christ?
Of course, our greatest role model is Jesus himself. But it makes sense to have role models that you know and can interact with physically here on Earth. We just have to make sure that those people are following Christ. If they’re not, we’re imitating evil. So ask yourself, who do you imitate? Who do you take your queues from? Whose advice do you value? Now, ask yourself who they imitate? If the answer isn’t Jesus, you need to find a new role model.
Help me examine who my role models are, whether I intend to be following them or not. Help me discern who I am following and whether it is good or evil. Help me ultimately to follow Christ alone, and if I look to anyone on this earth as a role model, help me to always make sure that they’re following Him too.
In Jesus’ Name,