People We Admire

This month let’s talk about the people we admire.  Who and what we admire tells a lot about our own values.  We admire what we think is significant or beautiful or what we appreciate.  When limiting the discussion to people, what is it about people that we most admire?

Some of the things we admire in others are characteristics we wish that we could personally possess or possess to a greater degree.  Such characteristics as courage, knowledge, wisdom, honesty, integrity, attractiveness, health, personality, intelligence and wit are some of them.  We see some of these characteristics in some people, rarely all of them in one person.  Nonetheless, we hold these characteristics high in our value system and we wish that we had more of these characteristics than we think that we now have.  

What we admire in others could be a position they hold, accomplishments of the past and present, what they have such as appearance, faith, wealth, being famous, charisma, their relationships with others (who they know as well as how they relate to strangers).  We are attracted to people who demonstrate an interest in us.  This is enhanced when it appears that they are in a position to help us reach our goals.  Any of these personal features can be a role model for us as long as they enhance our faith and our strengths.  Too much influence of some characteristics, such as charisma, for example, could pull us away from our faith and our gifts/strengths.

The characteristics we should seek the most, however, are to be Christlike. Being Christlike includes 1) what Jesus told us to do, 2) the examples He provided by His life on earth, and 3) the work of the Holy Spirit who helps us to be Christlike.  Examine the qualities mentioned above and think about which of them were demonstrated or possessed by Jesus Christ.  Every positive characteristic we admire, Jesus exhibited. Even the people we admire the most will have some characteristics we don’t admire.  However, with Jesus, there were no such characteristics.  As a result, Jesus should be our role model as we face decisions about what to do, what to say, and what not to say or do.  While it is true we never saw Jesus drive a car, we did see Jesus as he related to people during His time on earth.  How do you think Jesus would drive a car if He were physically present today?  To be sure He would obey the law, stay alert and He would be kind to others.  In other situations of today, we could apply what Jesus would do.  While we might admire other people exhibiting appropriate Christian behaviors and attitudes, the person to admire the most is Jesus Christ.


Kenneth W Oosting, Ph. D

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