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?