THE PERIL OF PEDESTALS
(Acts 10:25-26) As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself am also a man."
Why is it that in the church we tend to put people up on pedestals? I guess we think that if we are touched by the Lord through a certain person, then that person must be extra special and above any faults or temptations. Now don’t get me wrong. We are to respect Christian leaders (Heb 13:7, 17) but we are not to put them up on a pedestal. And why is that? Because if they fall we might fall with them.
I remember a certain brother in the Lord who was very instrumental in my life after I became a Christian. He was older than me and had been a believer a lot longer than me. I looked up to him. Proper. I put him on a pedestal. Wrong! Guess what? He fell off. He started stumbling in his walk with Christ. I saw it and was devastated. I couldn’t believe it. How could he?! I called him up and balled him out. It didn’t do any good. He fell away. He fell out of my life. I haven’t seen him since. He crashed. But would I crash with him? Or would I get my eyes back on the Lord? I learned a good lesson. If you put people on pedestals, when they fall you might fall with them.
Peter was right. He told Cornelius to get up and reminded him that he was just a man like him. Peter knew his own humanity. He had failed the Lord terribly but was restored. Peter wanted Cornelius to get his eyes on the Lord and not on man. Because when your eyes are on the Lord you will never be disappointed in the Christian faith. Man fails but God prevails! When you hear of a Christian who stumbled you won’t be stumbled. You know human nature, so you keep your eyes on the Lord who alone is perfect (Psa 18:30). And you will also resist the temptation to let people put you up on a pedestal. It might be flattering but don’t let yourself be exalted! (Pro 16:18) Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
(Psa 99:5) Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool; He is holy.