Therefore I urge you to imitate me.
I Corinthians 4:16, NIV.
We see it happened every day. Someone who the world deems worthy falls from the pedestal of popularity and praise. Athletes, politicians, religious leaders; the list goes on and on. Perhaps worst of all is when a person we know and love, personally, does something that disappoints or embarrasses us. Our neat and tidy “houses” of expectation and promises lay in ruins around us. We’re not sure what to do; even worse, too often we wonder if life can continue with so much devastation.
Is it unrealistic to believe and trust in other people? In the midst of discovered deception and lies, our answer might be, “yes!” The only way to avoid the risk of disappointment brought on by others is to retreat and live alone. But, God created us for relationships, not isolation.
In a recent discussion with some friends about our children and grandchildren, one of them timidly suggested he didn’t consider himself a good role model. Those of us who were present knew the reason why he felt the way he did. Years ago, knowledge of a personal weakness became public. Pain naturally followed his choices and affected all who loved him and had put their trust in him. To his credit, he asked for forgiveness and determined that no matter how long it took, he would move forward, trusting God to heal the wounds caused by his actions.
My friend has lived beautifully through the years since this situation occurred; not perfectly because no one is perfect! I was proud to point out after his comment, that he is indeed the “perfect” role model for others in his life. When humility follows failure, and change is in progress, no better actions are worthy of emulating.
You might have thought the Scripture from 1 Corinthians at the beginning of this writing are words spoken by Jesus, but you would be mistaken. Paul, who had been, Saul persecuted and killed many Christians before choosing to follow Christ. He wrote these words!
Failure is not what determines our creditability; inability to admit it and do something about it is what reveals the flaws of our character. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17, NIV.