In last week’s episode, no. 182, we began our Thankful in November series by talking about being thankful for the last time we experienced something. Today we continue this series by considering the blessing of being thankful for the people who inspire us.

Welcome to You Were Made for This

If you find yourself wanting more from your relationships, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll discover practical principles you can use to experience the life-giving relationships you were made for.
I’m your host, John Certalic, award-winning author and relationship coach, here to help you find more joy in the relationships God designed for you.

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Two words to describe our podcast

If I could use only one word to describe our You Were Made for This podcast, it would be “relationships.” And if I could add one more word to the description, it would be “joy.” As in how to experience more joy in the relationships God designed for us. It’s what we were made for.


One source of joy in relationships is to be thankful for people who inspire us. “Inspire” is an interesting word. It literally means “to fill someone with the urge to do or feel something.”

My wife used to love going to a home furnishings store by the name of Inspire. It sold decorative items for your house like pillows, small pieces of furniture, things to hang on the wall. Stuff like that. It certainly filled my wife with the urge to do something. I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess what that urge might have been. She doesn’t go there anymore because the store went out of business. At least that’s what I’ve been telling her when she talks about going back there. Let’s just keep that a secret between you and me. Okay?

When my book came out in 2016, THEM – The Richer Life Found in Caring for Others, Writer’s, Digest Magazine awarded it “best inspirational book of the year.” My purpose in writing the book was to urge people to care better for each other, which would make us feel good about ourselves, because we were made for this.

“Inspire”: to fill someone with the urge to do or feel something.

People can Inspire us

The Inspire store and my book were intentional about their purpose in urging people to do something or feel something. I would add motivational speakers to these two intentional sources of inspiration.

But for me, I’ve always been thankful for people who inspire us unintentionally by the way they live. They’re the examples I would like to be more like. They don’t tell you how to conduct yourself, they show you. They’re the people who inspire us without even trying to do so. Here’s a recent example from just two months ago.

Queen Elizabeth II

When Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, 2022, there was an outpouring of admiration for her and the way she lived her life. Ruling England for over 70 years, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t admire her. A particularly insightful article by Daniel Henninger, one of my favorite newspaper columnists, appeared in The Wall Street Journal a week or so after she died. I’ll quote a few paragraphs from his piece, entitled “The Countercultural Queen”:

Within the hour of her death, Queen Elizabeth II was praised by commentators from left to right for representing so many traditional values. Reserve, self-containment, duty, responsibility. modesty of demeanor, graciousness, civility, prudence, fortitude…

What is most notable is that this instant outpouring of media praise for the queen’s traditional virtues comes amid a contemporary culture that elevates daily, even hourly, a value system of self-regard, self-promotion, changeability, acting out, and anything-goes behavior that is the polar opposite of Queen Elizabeth’s.

The queen’s own family reflected this trend. First Princess Diana in the 1980s rode the rising celebrity wave, and ultimately it drowned her. Then Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, known primarily as an influencer.

“Influencer” is the defining word of our times.

An influencer’s success depends overwhelmingly on one thing: self-promotion accomplished by rising in the hot-air balloons of Instagram, TikTok, and other social media. The goal is to marry marketing with fame. Because influencers do it, millions of others, often young women make preoccupation with self the one habit that directs their lives.

A contrast of values

To say that the queen’s values were traditional means they existed for a very long time. The poised 14-year-old Elizabeth we heard in news clips reading her first public speech to children during the Blitz of World War II had by then had by then been taught personal virtues held in high regard for centuries in the West and arguably longer in the East.

In our time, however, personal virtue has been demoted by social virtue.

One effect of giving social responsibility more weight than personal responsibility is that it gives people a pass on their personal behavior.

So long as one’s life is “centered” on some larger social good, the conduct of one’s personal life is well, irrelevant…

The queen’s habits were a source of personal stability. Modern values are a source of instability. The habits of behavior associated with her are not about mere goodness, but about creating a structure of life inside of which one can then perform successfully as a person, hopefully for the good. She did that for her country for 70 years.

Henninger’s column is a reminder that people who inspire us often run against the grain of contemporary culture. Queen Elizabeth showed us we can live a fulfilling meaningful life when it is based on the personal virtues that have been admired down through the ages.

So what does all this mean for YOU?

A couple of thoughts come to mind. They start with going back to the definition of “inspire” I mentioned earlier, “to fill someone with the urge to do or feel something.”

Wouldn’t it be great if people said that you inspired them to be more like you? That because of who you are and how you lived you motivated them to think or behave in a way that may not have been their natural inclination? That because of you they became a better person?

It’s possible for you to be an inspiration to others when you follow the teachings of Jesus, and day by day become more like the person he created you to be. As that happens, people will notice. And they will be inspired.

Another thought I have is really a question. I wonder about the people who inspire you. What are they like? What do they do to fill you with the urge to do or feel something? And then how do they do it?

This question I’m asking you is part of the Relationship Question of the month for November. Namely,

What is a story from one of your relationships that you are especially thankful for because of how it inspires you?

Just go to to record your answer using your phone or computer. With your answer, please include your name and where you’re from. It’s that simple.

I’ll need your response by 5 pm Central time on November 16, 2022. Again, head over to and leave a message for me.

I’ll pick several responses to air on our Thanksgiving episode. Who knows, it could be yours! And if so, it will look good on your resume.

A person who inspires me

On a personal note, one person who inspires me is my boss and our executive producer, Carol Steward. You hear her introduce me at the beginning of each episode. In episode 021 I describe how I first met Carol, and how she inspired Janet and me to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus. I also talk about this life-changing experience in chapter 7 of my book, THEM.

You can learn more about Carol and how Jesus has been the cornerstone of her relationship with Janet and me in a two-part interview I did with her in episodes 100 and 101. I’ll have links to all this at the bottom of the show notes.

Here’s the main takeaway I hope you remember from today’s episode

Being thankful for the people who inspire us has a way of motivating us to become inspiring people ourselves. Each day by becoming more like the men and women God created us to be, we model and inspire others to be the person God created them to be as well.

Relationship question of the month

Please don’t forget our Relationship Question of the month for November.

What is a story from one of your relationships that you are especially thankful for because of how it inspires you?

Just go to to record your answer using your phone or computer.

If you’d rather not record anything, please email your answer to me at You can also leave a written response at the bottom of the show notes for this episode in the “Leave a Comment” box.


In closing, I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about today’s episode. I hope your thinking was stimulated by today’s show to be thankful for the people who inspire you. And then to become more of an inspiring person yourself.

For when you do, it will help you experience the joy of relationships God desires for you. Because after all, You Were Made for This.

Well, that’s it for today. If there’s someone in your life you think might like to hear what you just heard, please forward this episode on to them. The link is Or scroll down to the bottom of the show notes for this episode and click on one of the options in the yellow “Share This” bar.

And don’t forget to spread a little relational sunshine around the people you meet this week. Spark some joy for them. And I’ll see you again next time. Goodbye for now.

Related episodes you may want to listen to

180: An Unusual Place to Find Joy
100: Start Conversations with Remembering
101: Life-Giving Relationships
021: The Most Important Relationship of All

THEM – The Richer Life Found in Caring for Others

Last week’s episode

182: Thankful for “The Last Time I Will Ever…”

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