When I was a teenager, I loved playing basketball. Dr. J and Michael Jordan were my favorite NBA players. While living in Colorado, I was fortunate to have my dad take me to see each of them play at McNichols Arena in Denver. Those are incredible memories.
Like one of many sports fans, we often stand in awe of the talent these athletes have. The NFL Superbowl just took place and next month is the NCAA’s March Madness. Let me ask this question. Do you think we ever exalt these amazing athletes beyond what is reasonable? Let me as another. Do we do this in other areas too? Where a person has a special talent or is in a great position of influence and power, do we at times hold them up too high?
When the burdens of life weigh on us, by instinct we look around for a type of savior to give us the help, relief or answers we seek.
We look to the athlete, musician or movie actor to give us hope and moments of joy.
We look to the doctor to cure our sickness or disease.
We look to a political leader to give us national peace and prosperity.
We look to the business person to give us a job and income.
We look to the preacher to give our life comfort, meaning and direction.
What are we doing? We are exalting mankind above God. We trust in the person and their abilities to help us, rather than God. We thank and celebrate the person for what they have done, rather than God. Do we somehow think God does not see this and will not take it to account?
People in these roles have worked hard, been blessed by God with special talents, but in the end, are just people. They are not infallible machines or products, but human beings like the rest of us. When we place our trust in them, we will eventually find our team will lose, the movie will end, the doctor will not find a cure, the politician will fail us, the business will lay us off and the preacher will disappoint us. No human, no matter how gifted they are can give us what we ultimately seek.
It is good to learn from others, to enjoy and celebrate their abilities, but when we begin looking to people for the things we ought to look toward God for, we cross a dangerous line. It is written in the Scriptures, “For the wisdom of this world is folly with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19). Furthermore, “. . . let no one boast in men” (3:21).
The Scriptures teach us that God is the only source of true hope. He is our ultimate Healer. He is our Defender. He is our Provider. He is the giver of life. No man, woman, team, program, weapon, set of ideals, principles, systems can be an adequate savior for the burdens we bear and the wrongs we have done. It is foolish to think otherwise.
There is only one Savior. He created each of us with our unique talents, and one day all humanity will kneel side by side before the Great Savior and Judge, who is the King of Kings.
Who are you trusting in for the things in this life and the next? Are you trusting in yourself or in others? I urge you to trust in the one above all – Jesus.
A prayer for you – “Lord God, examine our hearts to see if we have lifted anyone in our lives above you. Show us if we are trusting in another, for what we ought to be trusting in You for. Jesus, come and be my one and only Savior and Lord. Help me to turn from my ways and to You with all my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”