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Article Archive >> Community

Points to Ponder: You Are Somebody's Hero

Points to Ponder
You Are Somebody's Hero

I read recently [in March] where a prominent sports announcer was arrested for soliciting a minor. In recent years we have also seen prominent athletes charged with rape, using performance-enhancing drugs, and sometimes just behaving like wild children, out of control. Some years ago, one star athlete dared to say that he didn't want to be a role model. In other words, the influence he has that attracts thousands of fans to pay to see him perform is only useful for his enrichment. It's not his fault that impressionable young people are wanting to be like him. Give me the money, not the responsibility.
It's a travesty because these well known, well covered heroes and heroines could offer so much to our values-starved culture. So many parents and teachers desperately want to teach their beloved children what to avoid and what to pursue. Yet, young people so often discount the moral authority and wisdom of the people who truly want the best for them. However, if their hero on the ball field or on the basketball court spoke those same truths and lived by them, hoards of children and youth would listen with rapt attention. (To be fair, some athletes do.)
In the church, there are also heroes and heroines. There are children and youth, inside and outside of the church, who are looking for role models. They want to know how to live, how to survive and make decisions in this complex world, and how to think through the tough issues. A godly, gentle, loving person can draw the attention of a young person.
What makes athletes and actors so attractive? Is it not their rare ability to do things most of us can only imagine? They can do great things that are bigger than we are; so we are drawn to watch and to learn about their lives. So apply that same reasoning to a man or woman who knows the ONE who is bigger then they are--who has a deep relationship with the Lord of life. They do life in a way that's bigger and deeper than the usual way we see people living. We tend to listen to people who have a deep well of wisdom that draws up the most delicious water of life we've ever tasted.
In my experience with youth ministry, it seemed that people over 30 were considered to be "too old", out of touch, with the kids. Yet, in one church I know of, the youth class was always full and quietly attentive to the 60-plus year old teacher. Why? She'd lost her daddy at a young age. She buried two of her four children in the prime of their lives. She struggled and worked hard all of her life. But she loved Christ. Her faith never wavered. She couldn't hit a fly ball, or score a shot on a basketball court, but she knew how to live life with joy and a strong faith. No one thought of her as old. Everyone thought she was amazing; a heroine who knew how to play the game of life. I have met people in churches who attend, but never get involved in ministry or take an interest in the lives of others. I've met professed Christians who dropped out of church for whatever reason, who just can't see what contribution they could make. It's as if some Christians are like the big shot athlete who wants the fame and fortune provided by his talent but denies the responsibility it bestows upon him. The uninvolved Christian wants the salvation and the spiritual benefits for him/herself, but refuses the responsibility, which these blessings bestow. Jesus says:
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48b NIV)
Do you want to tell the Lord He hasn't given you that much? Do you want to tell Him from the comfort of your easy chair with your dusty Bible over there on the shelf, that He has no right to demand anything more from you?
If you are a Christian, you are an ambassador for Christ (II Corinthians 5:18-20). That's a responsibility, to be constantly aware of how we bear that name in the sight of others. If you are a leader, you are held to a stricter judgment (James 3:1), because you influence souls, with authority. Jesus warns that if anyone causes "one of these little ones" (children or the young in the faith) to sin, it would be better for that one if a millstone was tied around his neck and he was cast into the sea (Matthew 18:6-7). So the scripture warns us:
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV)
Be careful and thoughtful with regard to the influence you have on others. Be sure you are actively on God's path, allowing the Word to light your way (Psalms 119:105).
Your name may not fill a stadium, but in someone's mind it stands for Jesus. Or it should. He's the biggest Star in the most important game you'll ever play. And if you're not playing, maybe it's time you get into the game and reach that soul whom God has sent your way.
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls in wise." (Proverbs 11:30 NKJV)
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org and is downloaded for your reading pleasure. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit any material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public domain Web site and encourage all readers to visit this site to enjoy similar material.

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