Grace. How does it work? Actually, when does it work? Is it only when I do something great and want to appear humble? Or did it only work for that one fall – the fall of man? How does grace work?
You probably know the story of Tye Tribbett and Da T.R.U.T.H., or if not, of some other great (or regular) man/woman who has fallen. We wonder how he/she could do such a thing and feel indignant towards them and our faith comes crashing down, carrying our hope, love and common sense with it. The truth is, leaders are humans too. All this great work we see them doing is because of God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:10). And, just as humans sin, leaders can fall. We may be dead to sin, but sin has not yet died out in us.
John Piper said that “sin is what we do when our hearts are not satisfied with God”. You may wonder how, then, could a person be so close to God and still find himself dissatisfied with Him. Relationships. Most, if not all leaders have the impression that the people they lead need them. It is usually not their fault anyway, it is ours. We give leaders that impression, as followers, through various ways such as not thinking. Blind acceptance then sets up a need based, hand-to-mouth relationship. But leaders don’t need that (most don’t even want that). Ask yourself this: in a hand-to-mouth relationship, who feeds the hand? And this is where the dissatisfaction begins. With no one to turn to for help, they take the first good opportunity. And next thing you know, they’re publicly apologizing for their mistake.
It is their mistake, but the blood is also on our hands. We are all members of one body. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. Our relationships are to be hand-in-hand ones. See, leadership is influence (Max Lucado), therefore, if you influence someone, you’re a leader. Then a leader should not be faced with the dilemma of “who do I turn to?” because those around him/her know their role and know that the only hand-to-mouth relationship is with them and God. So then following, in a sense, is sin. (I had to confess that too). It’s actually idolatry! That term is a bit scary and is usually associated with Medieval darkness, spells and dancing around a golden cow, but before I get cut off, can I call it “Hero Worship” then?
So why do we hero worship public figures? Because our hearts are not satisfied with God’s leadership. Although we know God, we neither glorify Him as God nor give thanks to Him, but our thinking becomes futile and our hearts darkened. We exchange the glory of the immortal God for images. We exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve created things (like public figures) rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. (Romans 1:21,23,25)
So no more boasting about men! “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants through whom you believed – as the Lord assigned to each his task.” (1 Corinthians 3:5). Christ is the head of this body, all other members are equal. So the next time you read about a public figure, remember that he/she is human. This is not to excuse them of their sin, but to remind us that they need us as we need them, and we all need Christ.