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Crippling Leadership Worship

I am a little bewildered when I witness hero worship in adults. Christian adults using flattery and 'kissing up' is just so repulsive. I got to thinking about that and what causes it and why it's not OK and how a Christ follower should actually "be" when it comes to admiration of other human beings. 

As for causes, I believe it is our lack of direction and trust in our lives. We feel empty and search for meaning in what our brother or sister thinks. We seek approval for our empty feelings; we look for meaning from someone who has more authority or knowledge on a subject.

Audry Assad sings in I Shall Not Want:

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me, O God.

Yes, that explains the causes of hero worship best. We, ourselves, want to be admired and affirmed so we seek understanding, acceptance, and the company of others' beliefs.

God says: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me". This is the commandment that echoed through my mind after the move of a family and pastor a couple years ago. When facing why I was so devastated by this, God reached my heart with questioning me on where I had placed my trust. In many ways I had made their attendance, at my church, my god. I felt as long as they were in my local body they would keep us from becoming too full of ourselves in our strong Anabaptist's beliefs. 

People tend to listen to a human person that sounds knowledgeable and confident in their "rightness". We are like sheep. We go astray. We look for someone to follow. But it's not who Jesus called us to be. He doesn't want a heart that says. "Yes, I will follow You, Lord." and then promptly turns and follows a human they believe to be following Jesus. He wants all of our devotion and hearts. He wants us to believe His words over their words.

People in leadership {and we all are in spots of leadership} need to be keenly aware of this. If there is a sense of someone seeking their approval over God's approval, it is time to step back and promote God's Word and ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Then is the time to remember we are bearers of the "good news", but we are not the "good news".

Elevating those in authority becomes crippling to a Christ follower. We twist respect and admiration up into one meaning. This is not what God had in mind. If we interchange one for the other we miss the true meaning of godly respect. We are asked to respect those in church leadership but also those that are leading the country. A wife is called to respect her husband. Do we always admire what those in authority are doing? NO. Sometimes we are hurt by how off our authority feels. But we still are called to give proper respect. A church cannot function well, until its members understand this.

We are not truly devoted to Christ if we are waiting for the latest update a human has written or spoken. We are not in our rightful place if we are telling you how you should feel or think about a political movement or other Christians through out the world who do not practice as we do. That is work solely of the Holy Spirit in our lives. No one should be doing it for us. It is crippling if you are depending on someone you believe to be your authority to tell you how you should think or behave. How will you ever see Christ at work if you are watching humans at work? It could be the blind leading the blind. If you look at the ditch you will fall into the will go where you are looking. We are bearers together...we are not the good news. We are ambassadors...

We become crippled also, because we may not experience Grace. We will be held to a harder/human standard than that of Jesus Christ if we cannot understand that grace must have its work in each of our hearts. Grace demolishes judgment and a critical spirit. Grace believes that God is doing a work in you that I cannot see. It gives the ability to see God's greatness moving on the hearts of man. Get me and my agenda out of the way and see what God will do when I prayerfully seek His face and not the face of others.

If the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want anything. I will not be heartbroken when those I admire do something human. I will be dependent only on Jesus and His teaching to take up His cross daily. I will be humble and broken consistently, Elevating my Lord and the work He wants to perform in my brokenness.

If the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want to worship and admire anyone; I shall not want anyone to worship and admire me.