<<someone worthy of imitation>>
A role model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success is an incentive and goal to follow and pattern yourself after. They are someone who has been where we aspire to be and provides motivation for us to reach that place too or at least learn from. Younger people may idolize and imitate professional athletes or entertainment artists.
We all look up to someone (even if subconsciously), be it a teacher, parent, friend, pastor, or public figure. This is one of the key roles of parents, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov 1:8). Such guidance however must be 'do as I do, not just do as I say'. Church leaders are to be role models of righteousness: “In everything set them an example by doing what is good” (Tit 2:7). Paul repeatedly said follow my example as I follow that of Christ (1 Cor 4:16, 11:1; Phil 3:17; 1 Thes 1:5-7; 2 Thes 3:7-9). Unfortunately there are also false teachers within the church who are negative role models leading many away with their depraved conduct and bringing the way of truth into disrepute (Mt 24:5; 2 Pet 2:1,2).
As role models portray either positive or negative qualities it is of utmost importance to choose godly folk so we are not lead astray and compromise our beliefs and morals. The Bible says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Prov 13:20). Anyone we look up to should be consistently trying to imitate Christ, live in harmony with others and display the fruit of the Spirit (Rom 12:16; Gal 5:22,23). However be aware that human role models may likely falter at some point in their lives. Others are watching us too, and will be subconsciously influenced by our lifestyle, so always endeavour to live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way, living by what the Spirit desires (Rom 8:5,12; Col 1:10).
Be imitators of God – Ephesians 5:1
our cross and follow Him (Lk 9:23). While He literally died on a cross to purchase our salvation, the cross He calls us to carry is that which will bring about the death of the old sinful carnal lifestyle and attitudes but also bring glory to God and be of benefit to others by not living unto ourselves (2 Cor 5:15; Gal 2:20; Col 3:5-10).