By Becky Weber, Crosswalk.com
Each one of us has a person that we look up to; we admire someone, like what they are doing, or we might want to be more like them. While it is a good thing to have people that we appreciate for what they do and what they can teach us, it can go the opposite direction when we put these people in the place in our lives that only God should have. When we do this, we automatically set ourselves up for disappointment. People that we look up to won’t meet our unrealistic expectations, and we might start to resent them for that. We end up being angry or upset at people for nothing that they did but for the lies that we have believed instead.
So how do we stop ourselves from elevating these people to a level that they were never meant to be at?
Here are five ways to stop ourselves from worshipping Christian celebs and pastors:
1. Remember that they are human and imperfect.
One thing that is easy to forget when we look up to people is that they are human, just like us. Social media and the internet can make their lives seem so much more glamorous and like they have a put-together life. Eventually, though, their flaws will show, just like everyone else.
Instead of pretending that they are perfect, remember that they are imperfect and need Jesus just as much as the next person. When we have a healthy perspective of who people are, it is easier to extend grace when they mess up. If they teach you things or are encouraging you in your life, thank them for doing that; and then thank Jesus for what he is doing through them. We should always remember that he is the source of all good things, and nothing we do can be done without him.
2. Don’t put them on a pedestal.
People were never meant to take the place of Jesus in our lives. That is what can happen when we take people we admire and put them on a pedestal. We almost look at them like a god and possibly expect things from them that only Jesus can give us. This, again, leads to disappointment and ultimately sets people up for failure.
Look at others as being on the same level ground as everyone else. Jesus is the only one we should be giving all the glory and praise to. Yes, it is okay to lift others up with our words, and thank them for the impact that they have on us, but it becomes a problem when we think that they are the ultimate source from which it came from. That is why it is so important that Jesus is the one that we put on a pedestal because no one will ever know what he is to us. If we can remember this, it can save us a lot of heartache and pain if people we look up to do mess up.
Put Jesus in his proper place in your life, you will not be disappointed.
3. Get into the Bible, and feed yourself.
A mistake that we can make as believers is not taking our walk with Jesus on as our own. It's great when we attend church, go to a Bible study, learn from others, or attend some sort of conference, but we need to be able to do the work after that. We can’t rely on the faith of others to carry us the whole time. It needs to be taken on as our own, and we need to take full responsibility for our growth.
Things that we can do to grow are, read the Bible and study it, make time for prayer, and involve Jesus in our everyday lives and decisions. We can always learn from each other as believers, and we can depend on each other to a certain point, but we each have a responsibility for our own walks. If we can’t discipline ourselves and take some action, it will be hard to keep it going long-term.
Do yourself a favor and take your faith on as your own, and ask Jesus to help you grow. You will be so glad that you did.
4. Realize that you have the same access to God as they do.
It can be easy to assume that certain people have more access to God than we do ourselves. Whether it is a pastor or someone who is well known, these people can seem like they have a special pipeline to the Lord that made we don’t have. While again, this is not true, people still treat these leaders as if it was.
If we have a relationship with Jesus, we have the same access to God as all other believers do. Some may be further along in their spiritual journey, but that doesn’t mean that they get any sort of privilege over a person who is new in their faith. We are all able to approach God confidently because of what Jesus did for us, and if we have a relationship with him.
5. Thank God and give him the glory instead of people.
We should always be encouraging to one another, especially if people have been helpful in helping us grow in our faith. There is a difference, though, between thanking those people and giving the glory to whom it belongs. The glory ultimately should only go to God.
The next time someone teaches you something, or helps you understand something about God more, thank the Lord for working through that person. He is the one who gives us everything, and is the source of everything. If we can keep this perspective, it will be a lot easier not to place a person in the position that only God should have. It helps us keep a healthy relationship with other people, instead of making them an idol in our lives.
It is so great to have people that we look up to, aspire to be like, and that we learn things from. Again, it becomes a problem when we start to treat them differently and put them in a position in our lives that only God should have. Not only will it disappoint us, but it can lead to resentment toward that person that we have placed all of our hope in. They were never meant to take that place in our lives and will never live up to the high standards that we have mistakenly placed on them.
Choose to remember that God is the only one who can be him. No one else can ever take that place in our lives, no matter how wonderful we think they are. Yes, we should be learning things from others, but it is important to remember who it all ultimately comes from. When we can keep this healthy perspective, it is better for our own souls, and there won’t be anger or resentment toward anyone who doesn’t live up to what only God can. Let humans be human, and let God be God.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/GaudiLab
Becky Weber is a wife, and mom to 4 kids. She loves to write and speak. She is a pastor’s wife in Sioux Falls, SD where her husband Adam is the lead pastor of Embrace Church. Her passion is to encourage others (especially women) to learn how to walk with Jesus on a daily basis. You can find more writing over at www.becweber.com and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.