2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18;Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5; Matthew 23:27-32
We wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. (2 Thessalonians 3:9)
We often hear celebrities and athletes spoken of as role models. When they display good character, they are praised as good role models, and when their behavior is not so good, they’re called bad role models. But should we even consider distant public figures like these as models at all?
In today’s first reading, St. Paul speaks about how he was a role model when he lived among the Thessalonians. He explains how he did certain things not because he had to but because he wanted to set a good example. And now in his letter, he points back to his behavior and calls the Thessalonians to follow his example.
Sometimes we assume that it is someone else’s job to be a role model. Maybe not athletes or celebrities, but certainly teachers, priests, or community leaders. But in fact, we all have people who look up to us. And if you choose to embrace this role as Paul did, God can use you in powerful ways.
It’s easy to feel intimidated at the idea of mentoring someone. Where do you start? Paul gives us a couple of ideas. For one thing, he knew that he couldn’t be a role model from a distance. He invested in his relationships so that people could “see” his message as well as hear it. He made it a point to teach with with deeds as well as words, even though it was probably uncomfortable at times. Also, he made sure that he was available to people instead of favoring a very private, secluded life.
No matter how old or young we are, we all need role models—and we can all become role models as well. When you are out with your husband or wife, your gestures and words have the potential to demonstrate love and unity to the people around you. When you speak with your children, even about trivial matters, you can give them a glimpse of God the Father. In fact, your life is always on display. Isn’t it a good thing that Christ is in you to help you mirror his character?
“Father, thank you for the role models you have given me. Help me to live as a model for others.”~WAU