Thursday, November 20, 2008

Be Careful Who You Put on a Pedestal -- Sue Payne

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6

I grew up attending church. For as long as I can remember, our family life revolved around the involvement in services, choir, youth group, church suppers and bazaars, plays and committees. I was fortunate enough to have role models and mentors through the church family whom I looked up to during this time of my life.

Among my mentors was our pastor. I held him in very high regard, went to him for advice, and always felt he had an interest in all I did.

I was in high school at the time when I found out that he had had an affair with a woman in our congregation. Not only did it shake up our church, it just about rocked my whole world. I thought, “This man who I had placed on a pedestal, looked up to, and admired, had been a fake!” I felt betrayed and gravely disappointed. I even began to wonder whether the whole “church thing” was for real.

Lacking the experience and the relationship with God that I needed to understand, I turned out the light in the spiritual “room” of my heart, closed the door, and walked away.

Looking back, I can see now that my pastor had had a mistaken identity. And I was the one who had been mistaken. I did not have the right to place him on a pedestal just because he was a pastor. He was just a man, a sinner, as we all are.

My realization did not make what he did right, it just showed me where I was wrong.

Jesus is the only One we should hold in such high regard and at that time of my life, He was not the Savior of my heart. The role models I had chosen to exalt in my life could not have possibly lived up to perfection.

Sue Payne is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in home schooling newsletters and church news bulletins. She is experienced in curriculum planning and design and uses her writing skills to encourage and teach others. Sue lives in Delaware, and lives with her husband and two boys whom she home schooled for a total of fourteen years.