that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. (ESV)
We all have spiritual heroes. There is nothing wrong with that. It is very normal for us to look up to others who have demonstrated a sincere faith that we can emulate. In fact, there is a whole chapter in the Bible that is kind of a "hall of faith." You will find that in Hebrews 11. I am not sure who your spiritual heroes are, but I will give you a few of mine.
My first spiritual hero in my life was my father. My dad was a pastor and taught me that the answer for every situation I face in life is found in the Word of God. Another hero of mine is the late Baptist minister from the 1800s, Charles Spurgeon. His direct and passionate approach of delivering the truth impacted me deeply. Finally, I would refer to the Apostle Paul as a hero.
The Apostle Paul's writings continue to amaze me. They are so challenging. They speak of the grand truths of God's sovereignty, God's grace, and God's glory. His life story is heroic as well. He goes from a persecutor of the church to one of its greatest leaders. He was not only willing to lay down his life for his faith, but a Roman sword insured that he did.
So, to our verse today. Paul says to the church at Rome that he wants to encourage them and be encouraged by them. Mutual encouragement. He was likely a hero to them. Yet, Paul does not view himself as above them in any way. Paul demonstrates a humility that is important for us all to see. We can all encourage someone else. Heroes and followers. We all need each other.
Who is your hero? Be encouraged by them. For whom could you be a hero? Live such a life that others would want to emulate you.