Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Don’t do this alone, Amigos.
We had a great men’s gathering this past weekend. During one of the discussions, a man asked the question, “Who is your role model?” We were discussing how we strive to become the men God made us to be. One way was by finding someone to model the Christian life for us. Certainly, Jesus is our ultimate example, but, as in most things, we benefit from having a tangible person who can make impartations into our life. Paul identified himself as a spiritual father to the Corinthians, boldly telling them, “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” (1 Corinthians 4:16) That brings up the question, “How do I choose someone to mentor and model the Christian life for me?”
When I started out, I had a mentor whom I chose for all the wrong reasons. I hung out with him because of the things I perceived he had. He had money, he was very well-spoken, and he seemed self-assured. God hooked me and reeled me in. As I got closer, I discovered that the real attraction was not what he had or what he did, but who he was. As time went by, I had two other men to whom I looked for examples. I am forever grateful for all three of these men. Take time to find someone who reflects the “who” of the Christian life, not just the “what” of the material world. It will pay rich dividends. Here’s what I found to be important in a mentor/model.
1. A commitment to winning the lost. Eternity was real to him, and He intentionally looked for opportunities to present the Gospel.
2. A commitment to helping people. He invested time and money into proactively seeking opportunities to help people who were in trouble.
3. A commitment to the Word of God. The Bible was something that was part of his daily life. He read it, he spoke it, and he lived it.
4. A commitment to his wife and family. Respect for the marriage covenant came from his mouth and was demonstrated in his actions. He guarded his purity, and he spoke respectfully of his wife.
5. A humble heart and a listening ear. None of my three models found it necessary to tell others of their own good deeds, judge others for their shortcomings, or lecture before they listened.
Somebody Said: He that gives good advice builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example builds with both. -Francis Bacon
Scripture Reading: My friends, I want you to follow my example and learn from others who closely follow the example we set for you. (Philippians 3:17 CEV)
The Christian life was never designed to be lived alone. Becoming what we need to become is done in concert with others: those who walk beside us on the road, those who have gone ahead and beckon us onward, and those who are coming behind looking to us for guidance. We are each in all three categories at any given time. Be sure to look ahead for those whose lives show them to be heading where you want to go.
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745