Sunday, June 29, 2008

Deep Thought of the Day: Human Idols and Heroes

Recently, a man in our church has been in the papers and charged with acts that shed serious doubt on his good standing. This man was an Elder of the church, a former pastor, and currently the head of a major charitable organization. The papers have certainly exaggerated the charges, bringing out rumors as well as facts, but it appears at least some of the charges are true.

It has reminded me of the importance of NOT trusting in human idols or heroes.

As children - and even as adults - we are all tempted to pick heroes whom we attempt to model our lives after. For some, it is a great historical figure like George Washington or Teddy Roosevelt. For some, it is a family member - Mom or Dad or a grandparent. For others, it is a mentor - a pastor, a teacher, a counsellor. We look up to these people, and pattern ourselves after them.

But the reality is that very few humans can stand up to the pressure of this kind of idealization. Historians have an obsession with taking heroes off of their pedestals - as seen more recently in the obsession with Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings. And even the best men have feet of clay and weak moments. Martin Luther - who stood strong against the Catholic Church under the threat of execution - was an ardent anti-semite. We now know that Mother Theresa often had deep doubts about the existence of God.

Remember, only God can stand up to the intensity of human expectations. One of the reasons He gave us Jesus was so that we could see one perfect human. For all the others, be kind when judging their frailties. Be just, but also be kind.

1 comment:

shadowmom1 said...

"There but for the grace of God go I" is not just a cliche, but a truism. Any one of us is capable of stumbling and disappointing God and others. Thank God that He wants to (and does) restore us when we turn back to Him and His will.