Heroes and Role Models

(Sorry for the silence, had a houseguest).

Humans have a need to worship. In the absence of “ordo amoris” (order of affections), a relationship with God, and an understanding of fallen man, humans look to other humans for heroes. Even *with* God, we find ourselves desiring human role models. (That’s part of what the Bible is for – to show whole human lives and point out the admirable parts along with the not-so-admirable parts). This is normal human behavior, and it can be expected from humans.

In this time that we find ourselves in, we are continually bombarded with the heroes of the moment. I’m not sure why I even use the word “hero”, because they are nearly invariably entertainers of some stripe rather than people who are famous for having done something of benefit to the community. We rarely look up to anyone because of their strength of character, and even when we note the character, it is incidental to the performance.

Character takes too long to develop, too long to prove. We like instant.

This state of affairs leads to an endless succession of “heroes” who fall on their faces, who are found not merely wanting, but to not meet any of the characteristics to which we ascribe them. They are humans, fallen humans, and they are tempted far more effectively than you or I – and they are tempted in the spotlight. It is no wonder at all that they collapse under the pressure.

How does this intersect with the goal of becoming more real? First – we need to be out there, doing our business as lights. Second, it makes it public that real people have problems *and* they have greatness. I think that we hear too much about the problems and we don’t hear about the greatness. So we start thinking that normal people are fallen, but the sparkly people have it all together. Instead – we can see that each person around us has something to bring to the table, and some of those people have a talent or fruit of the spirit that is truly awe inspiring – without forgetting that they also aren’t very good at other things. Example: I can sew and cook and write… but please don’t ask me to do car maintenance. Actually, if you can skip asking me to maintain anything, that’s better. Have me set it up and do the dirty work, but get someone else to keep it running.

I don’t have to be good at every thing to be good at some things. Neither do you, and neither does that person on TV… or at the pulpit. What we are called to do is our best, and to develop the talents and skills that God gave us.

Let’s be *real* – great, flawed, and God’s creations, humbled before our Creator.

2 thoughts on “Heroes and Role Models

  1. Elspeth

    The whole post is excellent, but this struck a chord:

    Character takes too long to develop, too long to prove. We like instant.

    So very true, friend. We want to seize something instantly. The amount of time it takes to build depth of relationship is time none of us seems to have.

    As for the heroes, I don’t know if you were around at TC back when I wrote this:


    Again, great post. After I mull it some more, I may have more to say.

    1. hearthie Post author

      I think I must have missed that post. It’s a good one.

      For the purposes of this blog, I was trying to differentiate people who actually um… do something helpful (firemen, police, etc) from those who perform – we have a major issue with idolizing performers and then getting all sad because they were … acting. Seems ill-advised to me. But there will be a follow-up post shortly, there’s more that I’d like to say.


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