There’s a phrase you may have heard, and if you hang out with any of our leaders at Cornerstone long enough you will definitely hear it, that goes like this:
Discipleship isn’t taught as much as it is caught.
I suppose you could say much of life is that way, but when it comes to following Jesus in this life, we must take our cues from the way that he led his closest friends. Jesus was a master story teller, and no doubt the Kingdom was learned by the 12 from what they heard; but I would argue that much of their learning from Jesus was done simply by observing his daily rhythm and very simply trying to live as he did. Paul affirms this imitation theme through many of his letters to the churches he helped plant and to his young disciple Timothy.
In 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness, expert story teller and theologian Eric Metaxas shares seven brief biographies of men who have all gone before our time who each had a significant impact on his life. While he did not know each of them personally, their lives are ones, as he says, that are worth imitating. He also makes the argument that our society’s slipping away from one where we value role models and heroes in to one where we value self supremely over all else is the reason we have as many social and moral issues as we do today. I happen to agree wholeheartedly.
Metaxas shares his belief with the reader that all people need role models and much can be learned from the lives of saints who have gone before us. Yes, each believer needs to have living people whom he shares his life with and those who are a little further along whom he learns to imitate as they imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11.1). But each person should also look back on those who have finished the race and won the prize as role models…heroes. Were they perfect? By no means. Was their story one worth telling as they pursued a higher purpose during their brief lives here? Yes.
I am grateful Metaxas took the time to dig deeply in to the lives of these seven men. My life has now forever been influenced by theirs, and I thank God for them.
(There are a couple copies of this book in the Cornerstone Book Corner at the Hamilton Road site available for purchase. You can also purchase it on Amazon here.)