Fallen Heroes

As children, we all had role models, those whom we regarded as larger-than-life heroes. We watched their lives with wide-eyed wonder and emulated their mannerisms, eagerly waiting for the day when we could one day walk in their shoes. If you grew up in the late 80’s or early 90’s as I did, you may recall that nearly every boy had aspirations to “be like Mike.” For others, the true champions were parents, older siblings, pastors, teachers, coaches, politicians, and athletes, to name a few.

In reality, however, the pedestal can be a delusive place. When these “heroes” or other leaders fall from it, we are left at times with unanswered questions:

  • How could this have happened?
  • Why did they do that?
  • What do I do now?

How we respond to this disappointment is crucial. Though we might feel hurt and perhaps disillusioned for a time, we must not allow others’ missteps to hinder our own journey. Here are a few thoughts on how we may continue living the Christian life, even when it seems to have come to a standstill.

1. Remember people are only human, and humans make mistakes.

Someone once said, “The best of men are, at best, just men.” Let us avoid elevating others to a place where they may seem exempt from sin and temptations. “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are…” (James 5:17) “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you…” (Acts 14:15)

2. Our focus and example must be Jesus Christ.

The greatest Hero we should have in our lives is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May we say that He is our Example! He is the One Whom we strive to be like! His Word is our Supreme Authority! I thank God for people who have invested in my life, and I believe that they are worthy of honor; but only one Man died on a cross for me. Only one Man purchased my salvation. Christ’s image is what we should be striving to be conformed to.

3. Take heed to our own lives.

When people make mistakes, I am always challenged to examine my own heart and life. Far greater Christians have succumbed to the attacks of the wicked one. I realize that, if the best are capable of falling, then I may be more susceptible. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

4. Do not rejoice when another falls.

I feel absolutely no joy when a brother or sister in Christ has erred. My heart breaks when I hear of Christians who have fallen. We may not always agree with another’s position in certain areas, but we “are one body in Christ.” We ought not to delight in tragedies.

5. Pray for one another.

The consequences of sin always hurt others. Homes are broken, relationships are severed, futures are destroyed, and tears are shed. The spiritual Christian seizes this opportunity to pray for those that have been affected by these situations. “…pray one for another…” (James 5:16)

Christians face real and constant opposition from the world, the flesh, and the Devil. We well know that these enemies are seeking to devour and destroy our lives. Therefore, it is vitally important that we “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

The truth of the matter is that, at one point or another, all of us have been or will be affected by the poor choices of others. Do not lose the faith, but keep on for Jesus Christ. There is a world of nearly 7 billion people who are hurting, and most of them are lost and on their way to an eternity in Hell. We cannot quit because others have hurt us. We cannot lie down and live in discouragement the rest of our lives. If dreams have been shattered, hopes crushed, and tears shed, let me say that Jesus Christ can take whatever hurt you have and carry that burden with you.

Preacher, keep preaching.

Soul winner, keep soul winning.

Pastor, keep loving your people.

Youth pastor, keep investing in the next generation.

Parents, keep training your children.

Let us do all we can to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You may have been hurt or disappointed by the actions of an earthly “hero,” but we may rest in the promises and goodness of a heavenly One Who is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

Tim Trieber
North Valley Baptist Church
Youth Pastor
Santa Clara, CA

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