Having a Spiritual Role Model Is a Great Goal, but It’s Not Always Possible
Who is your spiritual role model? Who do you look up to or strive to emulate? I can point to several biblical characters I admire. I attempt to follow their positive characteristics. I can also list some nonbiblical individuals from history who I highly regard.
I can even name godly contemporary people who I know from afar. But I do not have a spiritual role model who exists in my life today. Though some resided in my past, none are present now.
Yes, I have friends who I respect and who, I assume, respect me. Yet they are not role models for me any more than I am for them. Though we may encourage one another, we do not inspire imitation.
This has troubled me for some time. I feel a vacuum in my soul. The void is palpable. I exist largely as an island. I long for a flesh and blood spiritual role model, but I don’t even know where to look.
Possibly my expectations are too great. Maybe past disappointments have tarnished the allure of even the most laudable of options. I might just be too picky, too critical. Perhaps I fear a possible let down when a human failing of my role model surfaces. It has happened.
Though agonizing, my lament over the lack of a spiritual role model is also a selfish pursuit: I seek something to take with no thought about giving to others.
Until now I have never wondered if I am a spiritual role model. While this isn’t a status we can offer, it is a lifestyle we can aspire to. This, though, looms as a goal too lofty to reach, an impossible target to hit.
Yes, instead of complaining I have no spiritual role models, I might be better off to live worthy of emulation. If I did—or when I do—perhaps the desire for a spiritual role model will not be as deep.
It’s certainly something to consider.
Do you have a spiritual role model? Are you a spiritual role model to others?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.