I was reading 1st Corinthians 3-4 yesterday morning. Paul the apostle was trying to convince people not to cause divisions in the early church because of their hero-worship of church leaders. Predictably, members of the church were pointing to certain charismatic church leaders such as Appolos and even Paul himself and stating that they followed one or other. This aligning themselves with certain leaders was causing factions and divisions amongst the believers.
It made me reflect on how easily we can be caught up in believing that the characteristics of those following God are God. People flock to churches with interesting or fun or inspiring leaders or they give up on their faith because of a breach of trust perpetuated by a supposed follower of God. Yes we are supposed to be ‘ambassadors of Christ’ but it is fact that even those sincerely following are far far far from the perfection of God and that many twist and corrupt the teachings of Christ for their own purposes and justifications.
These days good or bad, inspiring or not, I try to look at all people with a lot of grace. No matter how good and inspiring someone is or bad they are, ultimately they fall short of God – period. God’s goodness is completely true and independent of his creation… Do not worship a man because he seems so amazing nor should we curse God because a man is bad. The goodness of a man only speaks to how much he has chosen to reflect God’s glory and vice versa. These choices of man do not negate or take away from God’s goodness.