Several years back I had a casual conversation with a young man who was enrolled in college. Somehow the issue of Tim Tebow entered our dialog. Before I could finish sharing my long list of accolades for Tebow and his strong Christian character, the college kid blurted out how desperately he hoped to high heaven that Tebow would “get busted in a hotel room full of drugs and prostitutes” so he could be brought down once and for all.
Considering each of us reads daily about a constant barrage of public figures who are embroiled in one form of nastiness or another, it would seem that a man like Tebow who is trying to walk in his integrity would be somewhat esteemed by everyone, including that college kid. But a somber truth was brought to my attention then as well as now–“in some strange way there is pleasure in seeing someone great fall to make us feel better about ourselves. But deep down we really long to see them succeed to confirm there’s hope.”
Personally I have a deep-seeded desire to see modern spiritual heros rise up to the same challenge Paul extended to a young Pastor named Timothy as he said “set an example for other believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1st Timothy 4:12). When those men of God around me whom I claim as my genuine spiritual heros do in fact stay strong and press on it builds me up tremendously even as a casual onlooker. They provide me with an element of hope; not hope in the man himself but hope in the Savior behind that man who is responsible for keeping him strong and secure. In other words I have a need to see my spiritual heros succeed.
The biggest and most sobering challenge for me though is realizing that as I watch other giants on a bigger field of play fighting the good fight, there might just be another individual over my shoulder watching me fighting a smaller, yet no less significant fight. The question is begged then, “am I likewise living in a manner worthy of the Gospel bringing glory to God as well as encouraging fellow godly-men?” My prayer must be “Lord help me to be that man!” meaning the kind of man who can honestly call upon others to “follow me as I follow Christ” (1st Corinthians 11:1). Or even be the kind of man like Paul who was able to confidently exclaim “the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9.
As Michelangelo stated above “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” As you read this be challenged to be that man who aims for an amazingly high spiritual mark and chases it unto completion. Be sure to know without question God is glorified when you seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, but it is during that process of seeking where you extend to the rest of us a degree of much needed hope. And be completely assured of this truth: if you are in fact aiming high spiritually, you are a hero to someone, somewhere. For the sake of the Kingdom, and for the sake of that someone, somewhere, please do not let them down. Be that man. Be that hero.
Weekly wisdom and insight from best-selling author Richard E Simmons III.