I feel that way at church. We glorify the cool leader who is a good speaker and even give him multiple venues at which to speak via video. The cool leader is often a great person who is authentic in their walk with Christ so I don’t want to undercut him. What we do seem to miss is the real spiritual life because we are looking for a cool spiritual life.
We like social leaders in a spiritual context instead of spiritual leaders who may not be socially cool. I know some folks who I like to be around because they are great to be around, good story tellers, people with vision, they make me smile and I like to laugh with them and they are great people. They just aren’t necessarily great role models for the deeper spiritual life. I am not trying to put them down because we are all on a spiritual journey and to criticize theirs would be wrong. This year I am looking for role models who have begun to clearly show one or more parts of the Spirit’s fruit in their lives. Not like movie science but the real deal even if it is not cool or glamorous.
• loving everyone not just friends and nice people
• joy in Christ not just in friends, stuff and circumstances.
• peace in the face of the people who spread fear (who are mostly preachers, conservative republicans, liberal democrats and radio talk show hosts)
• patience with people who seem clueless or are irritating
• kindness where anything else would be acceptable
• goodness just to be good even non-action would be ok
• faithfulness in the subtle things as well as the obvious
• gentleness when “tell-it-like-it-is” because the norm
• self-control when ‘losing it’ is ‘authentic’
I am looking for people who can be my role models in those nine things. How did they get there? What has God done in their lives to bring them there?