When Heroes Fail

When Heroes Fail (Audio)

I guess we have all experienced this. Listening to the news about someone you respect and admire. Suddenly the report of moral failure or criminal behavior blares. Wait. This was someone you looked up to. Back then, and present tense. But what we are hearing today is often something that started a long time ago. You have great and fond memories of who a particular person was to you at a specific time in your life.

But what about Now?

That once strong tie that binds you to this present marred image beings unraveling. You struggle with the new vision. New secret. New details. Gasp. No!

Snap! Just like that, it’s impossible to resolve your image between “today” and “yesterday”.

Their image unravels before you, quickly, like the rope you once thought so strong, strand by strand. In just seconds that image you had in your mind is blown. The real person makes a showing and you wonder how could you have been so wrong?

Abraham Lincoln said,

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.
The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” (Source)

Maybe the problem is hype, or a smear campaign designed to tear someone off the pedestal. Someone starts a story, it grabs traction and before you know, embellishments become fact and the facts make a hero or a villain. But somewhere under that hero image is the real person.

Did you notice the image I posted on this blog? Quickly, the fingers point to the person, voices whisper, “Failure!”, but you seldom see a hand extended to lift that person back up.

Maybe they cannot be restored, but they can be recovered.

I’m just suggesting, let’s be slow to point the finger and quick to help someone from their fallen state. This is a biblical principle that the Apostle Paul had to teach to some.

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  (Galatians 6:1-2 NKJV)

Notice. Spirit of Gentleness. Not an accusing tone, or harsh words, but in a Christ-like spirit that is more interested in recovery than burial. Not in public, but in a quiet place speak to the brother in fault, and if you are heard, then you have gained a brother. (Matthew 18:15)

I remember a story about a pastor who would not believe a negative report about a persons’ failure, even when shared by someone really close to him. It sort of set the stage for me to disbelieve until there is incontrovertible truth and a bevy of facts to support a claim. Even then, that person needs someone to come alongside them to help begin an act of recovery.

Restoration may never happen. You may never see this person back in their place of status. It may be impossible. But we can recover the humanity to a place of becoming normal. And that might be a place they were never at, to begin with!

I’m just saying if I trip and fall I would want a friend to help me regain my footing, even if it means I may never reach my peak.


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