In 1993, Charles Barkley said in a Nike commercial that he’s not a role model, he’s a basketball player. Parents, Charles said, are the real role models for their children.
He’s partially right. Yes, parents are role models and so are basketball players. We are all role models. The question is not whether or not we are role models, the real question is whether or not we take that responsibility seriously.
Whether or not you are aware, like it or not, people watch you. They pay attention to how you respond under stress, how you treat others, and how your actions match what you profess to be true. Kids, neighbors, strangers, co-workers, friends, etc., are watching and sometimes taking their cues from you.
Isaiah understood this reality. He points out that when a leader leads well, “in righteousness” and “with justice”, people are blessed. Their leadership, their lives, shelters others from the proverbial storms of life. They refresh those around them and enlighten those once ignorant of truth. They bring sanity and clarity to those around them and turn what’s upside down, right side up (Isaiah 32:1-5).
You may say, “But Isaiah is speaking about kings and princes. I'm just a pastor.” Yes. He is. But by virtue of your baptism, you are made a child of God and heir to the kingdom of God. Heirs are family members of the King, Jesus Christ. Family members of Jesus the King are called princes and princesses in the kingdom of God. Yes, pastor, Isaiah speaks about you too.
Today, own your role as a leader, a role model for others. Heed James’ instruction “Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness” (James 1:19-20). Let your righteousness and justice displayed in your actions bring blessing to those around you.
This week, when you walk through a doorway this week make the intention of bringing blessing to those inside the room in which you are walking.