There is a man named Jim Bayless who will always occupy a deep place in my heart. My love for him is rooted in his treatment of me when I was a young, married man, working my way up in an architectural firm. He was well-respected in our church, a leader of men. By appearances, you would consider him a man of influence. He was always in the middle of the things going on with the church – land, buildings, ministries, budgets. Compared to him, I was just a naive, young, inexperienced pup.

But, he did not see me that way – at least he never portrayed that. In fact, quite the opposite. He recommended me to the building committee and would publicly ask my opinion about things being discussed, as if I were as experienced as anyone. He would give me public credit for good ideas we spoke about privately. He would say things like “men like us, Herb” when discussing life. He was an unofficial mentor to me, expecting great things as if I could live up to them.

I became a better father, husband, layman, and Christian because of Jim’s influence. He probably doesn’t even remember all this, but I feel a debt of gratitude to him.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)

Jim helped me to see Christ better. As I watched and learned from Jim, I saw Christ in and though him, and my relationship with Jesus flourished. I want to be more like Jim, rooted and built-up in Jesus. I want to be more like Jim, strengthened in my faith, and overflowing with thankfulness. I want to be more like Jim, who taught men to be more like Jesus.

Who is your Jim? Are you becoming a Jim?

19 thoughts on “in.him”

  1. I wish I could say I have a Jim, I am longing for a Jim and looking for one. I have written a few times now about how we have a lack of Jim’s these days.

    Share will ya!!

    Great story and word brother.

  2. My dad is my Jim. When I came home for Christmas break my freshman year of college I didn’t
    recognize him. He was a different man. I wanted what he had. He had Christ.

  3. I have a Jim in my life right now. He leads my home fellowship group. He continually calls out the greatness in my life. He sees when I compromise and encourages me to seek more.

    I’m becoming that in my life. I’m seeking those opportunities to sow into others lives. That’s my goal.

    This is so good and such a great encouragement. Thank you Herb!

  4. Wish I could say I have a Jim. I do have a man who has stuck by me for over 20+ years and is still a friend but not a Jim. but i will take it anyway. Love this post Herb. wishing I had one like him. Now at my age (58) I am trying to be that for others.

    1. Yeah, I know I was lucky to have him at that time in my life – but you are right, a good friend is worth a lot too… I’m sure you’ll make a wonderful mentor, and I suspect you already are.

  5. Great story! Theres a guy I mentor directly, and I’m close with a few of the students in our discipleship program at church. I love pouring into them and challenging them to step up as believers.

  6. Yeah, there are not a lot of people I would consider “Jims” in my life, but they have been there and their impact on my life is eternal. I’ll never be the same. I am so thankful for these men of God. Great post, Herb. We need to honor these over and over in our lives (even as we honor them with how we live our lives).

  7. At key points in my life I have men like Jim actively involved in my life. I can’t imagine where I would be without those men. Right now, I am in a season where I don’t have a “Jim” in my life and I need to be looking for that mentor because I miss that blessing.

  8. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    this is todays verse from gateway blog.

    i came here through your grits and gravy note.
    man, i like that name for a blog!

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