In a classic Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown visits Lucy at her make-shift psychiatrist booth, where he’s trying to get a nickel’s worth of advice.

Charlie Brown: Do you think I can ever become a mature and well-adjusted person?

Lucy: For a question like that, I have to be paid in advance.

Charlie Brown: In advance?! Why?

Lucy: Because I don’t think you’re going to like the answer!

If you spend much time on social media today, it can seem hard to find a mature, well-adjusted person. In fact, that quality seems increasingly rare in society as a whole.

As Oklahoma Baptists, we have been uniquely blessed to have many godly, mature pastors and leaders through the decades. Today, I am specifically giving thanks to the Lord for one such man: Hance Dilbeck.

While my heart is sad to see the Lord lead him from Oklahoma Baptists toward GuideStone, I trust he will be serving Southern Baptists well in his new role. Brother Hance and his wonderful wife Julie have been a personal blessing to me, my family and to so many others I know.

The Dilbecks exhibit many virtues we see in the Lord Jesus Himself. Wisdom, gentleness, godliness, prayerfulness, faithfulness, joy. These are hallmarks of a life spent daily in the presence of Christ.

Is there someone God has placed in your life who has been an uplifting influence to you? In moments like these, it is good and right to express thanks to the Lord for that person and express admiration to the person.

It is also fitting to take stock of their virtues that you can emulate. In our social media crazed world, we are often driven to envy one another about good things. Instead, we should not envy but emulate those around us who are following Christ.

The Bible says, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7).

In Protestant and Evangelical circles, we don’t really have Saints (with a capital ‘S’) to imitate, per se. But that doesn’t mean we cannot uphold great examples of the faith and imitate them.

It could be a pastor or Sunday School teacher. It could be a missionary or Christian author. Find someone in history or present day whom you can look to and draw strength and inspiration.

We truly are surrounded by a great cloud of witness, even amid these dark days. In a world full of bad examples; in a day when our hearts are drawn away from the Lord, let’s look to Jesus and His close followers for hope and help.

Corrie Ten Boom said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.”

So today I say, “Thank You, Lord, for Your servants Hance and Julie Dilbeck.” Above all, thank You Lord, for being the great redeeming Lord whom they serve and follow.

Photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez