Empty Pedestals

What do we do when those we admired fall off their pedestal, crash, and burn?

We grieve…and hopefully learn.

Once again this past week, I’ve been reminded of the danger that comes in placing a person in a place that only One can stand.

Yet, even the apostle Paul called believers to follow his example (1 Corinthians 11:1). Does that not mean we aren’t to look up to those in ministry? No, but there is a difference between following an example and following a person. For, Paul said only follow his example as he follows that of Christ.

Do I follow Paul’s example in everything? No, only in that in which he’s modeling the example Christ gave.

We, somehow, have made a huge leap from following examples to following men and women. How many churches or ministries have grown because of a charismatic person and not because people are necessarily drawn to Jesus? What if every ministry was done in anonymity? How many of us would serve? How big would our churches be?

Since I don’t see that happening anytime soon, I will say this:

We need to be emptying pedestals and look simply to the occupied Throne!

Men and women in ministry will always disappoint, because we are all sinners saved by grace. When am I most disappointed in this reality? When I’ve put someone in a position higher than I should. Maybe this is one reason Paul kept moving, because he never wanted to be the center of the show. He never took the accolades and ran from attempts to raise him to the place of a god.

Maybe too this is why our call to make disciples should focus more on the one-on-one or small groups than the masses. The smaller the group, the harder to hide and the greater the accountability.

Hard days bring reflection, and I pray that as evil increases and we see even more failures and disappointments, we will each be making continual assessments of our own lives and weaknesses, keeping our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith. He alone deserves to be lifted up and worshipped.

Grace and Peace

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