A picture is worth a thousand words. And many times pictures point to a much larger reality. Models serve in this way in that they provide an example of a reality beyond themselves. The point is not the model. They are simply a stand in for something greater.
We can see this with role models in which an individual embodies a way of life for us to emulate. The individual literally serves as a model for the role in life we wish to adopt for ourselves.
It’s possible for someone to also model God’s truth for us. Perhaps they share an insight or wisdom that clearly comes from God. And while we’re grateful for the messenger, we receive this rightly as God’s truth.
Someone might also be a stand in for God’s goodness. This is the case when we realize a random act of kindness wasn’t so random. While goodness came through another, we recognize it as the Godwink it is.
Likewise, we might model God’s beauty for each other as well. And even here, while the model might be pleasing to the eye, we remember the beauty we see and enjoy is a reflection of God’s beauty. We get a glimpse of God’s infinite beauty through our embodied glory.
And of course we’re grateful for every model that brings us goodness and life. But in our gratitude we must not make an idol of the models that come our way.
Models are to remind us of God and his glory. They are not to replace him.
And we’re left disappointed when we expect imperfect models to fill us up in ways only a perfect God can do.
Let models bring God’s truth, goodness, and beauty into your life in many various ways to enjoy. And remember the model is simply a stand in and reflection of God’s glory. All the honor and praise still belongs to him.