Summary: Steps to being or picking a godly role model.
West Glendale Baptist Church
Pastor Don Jones
Cue slide: Title with Scripture
We are in crisis in our country. It seems that there is a short supply of role models. Charles Barkley, years ago, when asked about his influence over younger kids simply said, "I am not a role model!" I looked up the term leader and role model on dictionary.com and found 47 synonyms. It seems we have many words for leader but few to be found among the living.
Unfortunately, many of our young people have to look to athletes and popular musicians to find their examples. I believe this crisis exists in our country, politics to be specific, our homes, and yes, even our churches. It seems every time we find someone to look up to, idolize if you will, something comes out to indicate a flawed lifestyle. I am convinced we need more leaders to demonstrate how to live life with integrity and character. These words imply wholeness in living. In other words, what you say and do match in your daily living.
As I thought about the approach of Mother’s day this year I was once again reminded of my own mother’s influence in my life. She was and is a model of consistent spiritual leadership. No, she is not perfect but she is godly. I will never forget her prayers before God, beseeching Him for my healing. I will never forget her consistent godly discipline when I disappointed her. She was and is godly in character and I am reminded of 2 Timothy and the role another mother played in her son’s life. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:5,
5I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Timothy’s idols, role models, and leader examples were his grandmother Lois, his mother, Eunice, and of course, Paul. Scripture clearly indicates that these individuals were godly examples of what a person of faith should look, sound, and act like. Paul attributes Timothy’s sincere faith to the godly influence found at home. So what did this faith look like and what should it look like in our role models life and our lives if we are to be "godly" role model for others.
Paul tells us that to present ourselves as one approved, a godly role model, we must avoid evil.
Cue slide: Reject Evil
Simply put, there are behaviors that are to be avoided that would indicate we are not of God. To be godly influences we must avoid the following.
The first is godless chatter. The Greek word, kenophonos, is literally translated babblings or empty utterances. John MacArther says concerning this verse that, Words of worldly human opinion are no more than evil chatter. It is not only a waste of time but also leads to ever growing ungodliness. Paul says, "more and more ungodly" and "it will spread like gangrene’. It was used in the ancient world diseases that spread quickly and even referred to cancer. You can’t get more destructive than that! Godless chatter would include gossiping and murmuring which are listed along side the sins of adultery, witchcraft, and murder. Which to us seem much greater sins. The opposite of godless chatter is godly instruction and encouragement.
The second is, avoid the evil desires of youth. Most if us wouldn’t mind having a little younger age but Paul says when it comes to spirituality, avoid it. But this passage refers to being impulsive, acting on testosterone instead of prayer and discipline. Take the example of car insurance. My son’s insurance is much more expensive than my daughter’s, why? My agent just said "testosterone". He is more likely to act irrationally, more so than my daughter, and everyone knows it. Timothy was fairly young when this letter was written. Paul was well aware how quickly a young man could and would react irrationally. Paul says avoid it.
Paul also gives us some "dos" concerning the godly life and example we should set for others and here is where I would like to focus the majority of this morning.
Cue slide: Rightly divide the word of truth
First, be Bible smart. Be knowledgeable in what the Bible says. An old quote by Mark Twain concerning scripture said, "A Bible that is worn usually belongs to a person that is not." When it comes to godly living you can’t ignore the instruction manual. Charles Spurgeon said,
“We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are often called to go out into its darkness; let us never venture there without the light giving word, lest we slip with our feet. Each man should use the word of God personally, practically, and habitually, that he may see his way and see what lies in it. When darkness settles down upon all around me, the word of the Lord, like a flaming torch, reveals my way.”