It has been an interesting week. Earlier this week i got the news that a christian leader who i highly respect and has had a huge positive impact on my life over many years and the lives of so many people i know had a significant moral failing. Given the nature of what happened and the person involved, many people (myself included) were understandably left feeling confused, hurt, betrayed and even a bit angry. I'm not going to go over the details (lots of blogs are doing it) or try and speculate on why it happened. I do want to share something that this whole unfortunate saga has taught me.
Soon after hearing the news and while still very much in shock i put some music in the hope that it would help me feel better. One of the songs that ended up on my playlist was an old hymn called The Solid Rock. I believe God led me to that song and that it has something to say to all of us, whether we are dealing with the failure of our leaders or not.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Its great to have role models, especially godly ones. Its totally normal to think highly of someone who has had a positive influence on your life. We should respect our leaders. In this area there can be too much of a good thing though. A healthy respect can easily turn into idolization and an unhealthy dependence. They are only human, they were never meant to carry that weight. No matter how well they preach, worship lead or even how holy they seem they are only human. Because of that they will fail you. It might not be a massive scandal it may just be that you eventually realize that they just were not as awesome as you thought they were. Our hope and faith must be firmly in Jesus. Even when people fail us, he will not. We can confidently put our hope in what he has done for us.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
Even when people fail badly and everything seems to be a huge mess God is not sitting in heaven freaking out and worrying about whether all his plans for humanity have just been messed up by our stupidity. He is bigger, stronger and smarter than any problem, sin or darkness. Storms will come in everyone's lives, even the most dedicated believers are not immune. The good news is he is our anchor. Even when we can't see him at work we can rest in the knowledge of his grace and power. We don't have to get it all worked out for ourselves.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand
Today i encourage you to search your heart. Where does your hope and faith ultimately lie? Is it in your pastor, church or a hero of some description? If it is not in Jesus it will fail and that failure hurts bad. In a world of sinking sands Jesus is a sure and steady rock. He is the only one truly worthy of your hope and faith.