Saying no to others has always been a challenge for me.
I was under the impression that if I said no to someone, they might not like me or invite me to participate in the future.
Because of my fear, I always said yes to everyone and everything.
The idea of disappointing others haunted me and skewed my perception of how I related to people.
I felt trapped at times, feeling like my life and choices were not my own—until I studied the life of Esther recorded in Scripture.
You see, Esther was full of courage.
When faced with a challenging circumstance, she didn’t back down or care what others thought.
She stood up for what she believed was right and, with God by her side, she fought for the Jewish people.
Esther sets a true example of how to live a courageous life for God. Her story equipped me to be brave and gave me the courage to say no when necessary.
I believe that every Bible story has a purpose and adds value to our lives. When we read about how God used people just like you and me to accomplish His work, the process transforms us.
Our biblical role models possessed desirable attributes that were favorable to the Lord.
As we study God’s work in their lives, we can learn how to acquire these godly attributes.
Today’s blog features five biblical role models and highlights a positive attribute each person possessed. I hope this article encourages you to study the faithful testimonies recorded in Scripture as you seek to strengthen your relationship with Jesus.This article features five biblical characters and highlights a positive attribute each person possessed.
Five Encouraging Role Models from Scripture
#1 – Moses: An Obedient Leader (Exodus-Deuteronomy)
Moses, a central character in the Old Testament, is a man who expressed great obedience to the Lord.
He is an exceptional role model from whom we can learn how to submit to God. Even when Moses struggled with insecurity and doubt, he ultimately chose to follow God’s commands.
We read in Deuteronomy 4:5, “See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it.” (NIV)
This passage shows his tenacity and radical obedience. Moses didn’t just deliver the commandments; he also lived them out in his daily life and leadership.
Studying Moses’ life can teach us the benefits and blessings of walking in obedience to God.Studying Moses’ life can teach us the benefits and blessings of walking in obedience to God.
#2 – Joseph: A Forgiving Heart (Genesis 37-50)
Joseph, a strong man of the Lord, demonstrated forgiveness, a quality pleasing to the Lord.
Walking in forgiveness can be difficult, but Joseph reveals how to do it with God’s help.
We see this in Genesis 50:2, “‘So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (NIV)
Joseph didn’t retaliate against his brothers for their harsh and deceptive ways towards him; instead, he showed them kindness and provision in their time of need.
Studying his character can teach us to forgive at all times as God calls us to (Lk 17:3).
Joseph is a positive role model who teaches us that, with God’s provision in our lives, we can walk in forgiveness—which is a desirable attribute when wronged.
#3 – Elijah: A Man of Conviction (1 Kings 17-18)
Elijah, a prophet for the Lord, exhibits true conviction by standing up for God and His ways.
He was a man of God who didn’t back down from speaking about the Lord and representing Him well, despite the corrupt prophets of the time.
This quality is seen in 1 Kings 18:36, “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: ‘Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.’” (NIV)
Elijah is a positive role model who served God well and followed His commands faithfully.
We can follow the example of Elijah by proclaiming the name of God boldly as we speak truth from the Bible.We can follow the example of Elijah by proclaiming the name of God boldly as we speak truth from the Bible.
#4 – John the Baptist: A Purposeful Life (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John)
John the Baptist, an exemplary role model in the Bible, shows us that we can live purposefully driven lives for Jesus.
He was a loyal messenger for Jesus who lived his whole life for Him while encouraging others to live for Him too.
In everything John did, he focused on Jesus, and God used him in great ways.
In Matthew 3:13, we see this, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.” (NIV)
Jesus asked John, an ordinary man, to baptize Him.
John’s devotion to Jesus Christ allowed him to be humble enough to be used for such a profound assignment.
When we walk in devotion to Jesus, we too can be used in exceptional ways for His kingdom.
#5 – Paul: A Man of Perseverance (Acts & The Epistles)
Paul, a well-known role model in the Bible, was an apostle of Jesus who experienced many hardships and trials.
Despite great persecution, he boldly preached the gospel far and wide.
His strong conviction for Jesus landed him in jail, but that didn’t stop him from persevering in the Lord.
Paul’s perseverance teaches us how to approach hard times and honor Christ, even in our suffering.
In 2 Corinthians 4:16, we read Paul’s words encouraging us for perseverance, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’’ (NIV)
We can endure hard times when we look to Paul’s example of persevering for Jesus.We can endure hard times when we look to Paul’s example of persevering for Jesus.
Studying Biblical Role Models Can Encourage You
It is fruitful and fulfilling to study the shortcomings and successes of biblical characters.
This type of focused Bible study enriches our lives and deepens our relationship with Jesus.
Here are some practical ways to implement this strategy into your personal Bible study routine:
- Consider your personal struggles and look for role models in the Bible who can impart wisdom into your situation.
- Pinpoint a desired growth area (trust, faith, perseverance, etc.) and look for a biblical character who personifies that trait well. Study how they lived and learn from their example.
- Create a timeline of a favorite biblical figure, explicitly looking for ways they intentionally lived for God. By charting their life, you will see how they grew through challenging experiences.
Studying the lives of biblical role models will teach you how to live greatly for God. Their testimonies will help you grow in your faith and establish a godly life.
Who will you choose to study first?
Nikki Evanson is a wife and mother to two beautiful children who live in Colorado. She began writing a blog, Heart Wounds Healed, in order to obey a calling from God. She writes with the intention to minister to women who follow Jesus; to help them deal with the hurts in their hearts so that they can grow closer and deeper in their relationships with Him. Connect with Nikki on Twitter and Instagram.