We should seek to be like Jesus rather than celebrities

04/01/2014 4:00 PM

03/31/2014 2:02 PM

D EAR BILLY GRAHAM: Recently, my high school newspaper asked a number of students who they wanted to be like. Almost without exception they named famous musicians, athletes or other celebrities. Why are we so absorbed with celebrities today? Or have we always been? I would have named Jesus if they’d asked me. — M.M.


I wish they had asked you, because the highest goal anyone can ever have is to be like Jesus. I commend you for your desire to be like him, and I pray nothing will ever divert you from that goal — no matter what others may do.

You’re right; people today do seem to be overly fascinated with celebrities. To some extent, it’s probably always been like that; our human nature seems drawn to glamour, money and fame. But the explosion in various kinds of media makes celebrities more prominent today, and we become absorbed with their lives and achievements.

Ironically, few of them are truly happy and content; why, then, should we want to be like them? Interestingly, the word “famous” doesn’t even occur in the New Testament.

Making it your goal to follow Jesus may put you in the minority, but don’t let that fill you with doubt. Instead, make sure of your commitment to him, and then seek to draw closer to him every day. Let the Bible be your guide, and draw strength from him through prayer and fellowship with other believers.

What does it mean to be like Jesus? It means first of all that you know he loves you — and you love him in return. It means also that you ask him to control and guide your life, and you become filled with his character. God’s goal, the Bible says, is that we would be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29).

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