I actually mean being the kind of supermodel that doesn’t make anything like the pay of a fashion runway super-waif, but those who get to live life more freely and fully, and who feel they are making a lasting difference in what they do. The apostle Paul actually talks about this kind of supermodel in his first letter to the Thessalonians. Notice what he said to the believers in that area:
“And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere…” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8).
Paul does not commend others in such high terms, so these believers truly must have been supermodels of the faith. How did they get that way? What turns an everyday believer into a spiritual supermodel who is looked up to as an example – as a model of a true disciple and even of Christ Himself? Notice the reason Paul gives for the supermodel status of the Thessalonians:
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
We see two things here. First, these spiritual supermodels became the way they were by carefully imitating the behavior of leading Christians and of Christ Himself. That’s something Paul often urged his readers to do (2 Thessalonians 3:9, Philippians 3:17, etc.). Secondly, the Thessalonians were not just imitating Jesus when they were in the bright lights or when they felt they were “on the runway” – they were imitating the models they chose to follow even “in the midst of severe suffering” and they were doing it with joy! These men and women were not some select group blessed with just the right genes and perfect skin. They were alike – and beautiful – in what they portrayed.
Many feel that despite the lifestyle of this world's fashion supermodels, it would be nice to be so beautiful. But supermodels' careers are built on a physical perfection and a beauty that does not last. Their careers are often short and they have only imperfection to look forward to. On the other hand, as Paul reminded the Thessalonians: “… you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). In so doing these believers chose a life in which their beauty in God’s eyes would only increase with time (1 Peter 3:2-4) – toward an ultimate perfection – and in this life, they chose a lifestyle which would truly help others by example (see also Titus 2:7).
So, just like the Thessalonians, you can be a supermodel – and the character of God that you get to model will always be in fashion.