I have struggled lately with the idea of pedestals, not physically, but mentally. There are people that I have placed on pedestals that I thought could not fail. I didn't think they were perfect, but I definitely put a great deal of faith in them. The problem is that when they failed, I was discouraged. I thought to myself, "If they failed, then there's no way I will ever succeed." I have also struggled with the idea of placing myself on a pedestal. I'm not saying that I think I'm better than anyone, but that I am aware that there are people watching me. The thought of that terrifies me because I know I'm far from perfect.
My conviction lately has been this idea of tearing down pedestals. I am aware that as a pastor I am supposed to be above reproach. I also know that we are all supposed to be an example of Christ in that we represent Him in this world. What I'm saying is that we have to make sure we keep our focus in the right place. Jesus has to be the only one on a pedestal. Nothing and no one can effectively take His place, and no one should try to take His place. Paul struggled with this same thing in Corinth. People were arguing about who was better, Paul or Apollos. The followers of Paul took pride in following Paul, and the followers of Apollos took pride in following Apollos.
Paul writes to them in 1 Corinthians to say that God is the one who matters. He reminds them in 1 Corinthians 3: 9 that they are all "God's fellow workers,...God's field, (and) God's building." And we too are God's fellow workers, God's field, and God's building or His Church. Nothing and no one can take His place. We are all God's workers. Billy Graham and 10 year old Billy in the pew at your church are equal in the kingdom of God. I encourage you to tear down your pedestals. We can definitely still learn from one another. I'm not condemning that. But as much as is possible don't just follow people. Don't place your hope and trust in people alone, but in Christ alone. People will fail you, I will fail you, but God will never fail you.
Pastors and leaders, we must always strive to point people to Christ. If we only give our opinion, then people will follow us. If we share and speak God's Word, then people will follow God. While Paul said people should follow him, he was quick to add "as I follow Christ." We are not meant to lead people to follow us, but to follow Christ.
Anyone reading this needs to make sure that Christ is the only one they place on a pedestal. He is the only one who is perfect. He is the best example to follow after. He is the only one we should trust. We don't have to question His command; we can always listen and obey Him. He will never fail us.
Think of the pedestals that you have set up in your life, and tear them down. Feel free to comment here or on the Facebook page about pedestals that we setup in our hearts.