Heroes - Treasures in Jars of Clay
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Heroes – Treasures in Jars of Clay
By: Donna Haug
December 16, 2003
“How could he do that?!?” My young teenage heart, with eyes that saw only in stark black and white, was shocked at the news. A man of God whom I had highly respected had just left his disabled wife for her best friend. My heart ached as my first hero tumbled off the pedestal on which I had placed him.
In the years to come, people I had looked up to did things that shook my belief in the goodness of ANY man. I saw churches split, pastors and congregations grope through the fog of distrust and discontent, and marriages of people I loved head straight for the rocks.
As I considered my own heart, I realized how far I, myself, was from what I longed to be in my heart before God. I slowly came to the realization that we all stand in the same storm-tossed boat – sinners before a holy God. How can He love us? Why does He care for us at all?
In reading the stories of the great ‘heroes’ of the Old Testament, I was surprised to find the failures and shortcomings of these mighty men and women of God recorded right alongside their accomplishments. Since I was a child I had joined the throngs of people who looked up to David as being a shining hero. He was even called a ‘man after God’s own heart’ by God Himself! Yet look at his list of sins – irresponsibility, lust, being a poor father, adultery and murder! How can it be that a Holy God could call such a one a ‘man after God’s own heart?’ The answer lies in the heart of the man when he realized he had sinned. When David recognized his sin for what it was, immediately he was broken and repented. He called out to God in humility and bowed his contrite heart to the Lord. David was a hero, not because he was perfect, but because of his humble and contrite spirit.
So now, with this new definition of what being a hero means to me, will I dare look to anyone in that way again? Yes! I know many men and women of God who seek to follow the Lord and give of themselves to serve Him. They have been shining examples to me of what it means to be a ‘Christ’s one”. But, with the Lord’s help, I will not place them on pedestals. Each of these people I admire and respect are human, after all. They are sure to make mistakes, do things that are unwise and occasionally sin in a way that may shake the ground I stand on. But, if their heart is sincere and humble before God, they can still be my heroes – heroes who are jars of clay, nothing in and of themselves, but by God’s mercy and grace, have become great both in my eyes and, more importantly, in the eyes of their Lord.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
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