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On Hero Worship

Facebook is a weird world. Between that and Instagram and Twitter I follow a wide variety of people with vastly different ideologies, understanding, and judgements. (I draw the line at Tik Tok though. It shows my age when I find some of the new zeitgeist of our society just “odd and scary”! Young punk-rock Kevin would have greatly disapproved!). I have a fascination however, not to find all that divides us as a people, but rather the unrecognized and often-ignored similarities that begrudgingly unite us.

For example, we all want to preach on what we see as good and scream against what we see as evil. The good we want to find ways to make society rise to its standards, sometimes by force if necessary. Almost always by social pressure. Almost always by shame and sarcasm. “Do better!”, we scream at all would-be violators of our defined codes of conduct. We boycott and cancel and scoff and warn in our best prophet voices the woes of their folly. We judge the right and wrong of each other based in our internal moral code and unique perspective we’ve grown through our struggle and experience. Likewise we define evil by the same measure and seek others to stand arm-in-arm in protest against what we define as wrong. We do this as individuals, as a community, as religious groups, as a state and as a nation.

I’m not saying this is wrong, on it’s basic merits. I’m saying this is HUMAN. As something that is very human, however, it’s something that unites us all, even as it divides us. Being human is both wonderful, and amazing, and awe-inspiring having been made in the image of God and likewise devastating, horrific, and heart-breaking having chosen the path of sin.

I blame the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Think of it… we ate the fruit from the tree and our eyes were opened. We now judge everything based on who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. And in most cases we can’t agree on that in the least. Look at our politics. I’ve heard would-be moral warriors declare “this person is our hero as a nation!”.

When Jesus came, it wasn’t to give us a new moral code that would lead us to a restored relationship with God. It was the exact opposite. It was a relationship with God that would restore us to a heart that did things the way Jesus did them. The entire Sermon on the Mount was about that. “Here’s where you begin and THIS will be the result”. We so want to follow our human heroes in being good we lose sight that we, in ourselves, are unable to rise to our own expectations.

When we seek after Jesus though, everything changes.

Here’s an example. We have been given a list of the fruit of the Spirit. From the moment we hear it, we start teaching our kids how they need to develop love in their lives, and then joy, followed by peace and patience…oh, you messed up on the love part. Better go back and work on that. Ok, skip over to kindness for a minute… Don’t forget goodness. Nope, you messed that up….

That’s entirely backwards though. That list wasn’t given so we have a moral code that we are to follow to get back to the Holy Spirit. That list was give to show us what will happen IN us when we do one thing… commune with the Holy Spirit! You don’t have to develop a whole list of good characteristics in your life, you just have to do one thing… dwell with the living Spirit of God! This was the new commandment Jesus gave in John 13:34, ““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Basically he said, “Listen guys… you want to know how to love one another, first you have to dwell in the love I have for you and it will teach your heart of hearts how to love”.

We will worship our heroes, but there is only one that is deserving of our worship. There is only one that we truly are called to follow and become like. And that only happens WHEN we worship our hero, Jesus!

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