It seems like every day we’re hearing news about many people who have fallen from favor in the eyes of the public. Whether you’re talking about the 19 Kid’s and Counting’s Josh Duggar, one of America‘s favorite dad’s Dr. William H. Cosby, 7th Heaven‘s Stephen Collins, Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Dr. Billy Graham or any other public figure that has been granted the status of role model or icon, it is apparent that favor doesn’t last for most once they’ve done something that seems criminal or distasteful. It is also equally apparent that this is the intent of our enemy Satan to steal, kill and destroy the foundations of families and communities through the tearing down of men as husbands and fathers.
The question that must be answered by people of faith and people of communities is how we should respond in the light of men who fail. Life as we know it is never perfect. It is also clear that even from birth, no baby ever learns to walk without knowing what it is to stumble and fall. Yet, it is the baby who continues to get up and keep trying that learns to walk and even run. Even more than that, a baby never does it without the encouragement of a loving family to say “you can get up and try again; don’t quit”.
Paul the apostle makes it abundantly clear to the Galatians that we are required to restore others when they stumble and fall. He says in Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” This verse clearly reveals the danger in acknowledging that when another person falters, we run the risk of positioning ourselves for our own fall if we in pride resist the call to uplift and restore them.
Heroes become heroes when they demonstrate the power to rise up. However if we become the hindrance to their ability to rise up, we are failing as believers and failing our fallen. We should not be placing a stumbling block before them or tearing them down like crabs at the bottom of the bushel. We need to undergird them, until they are able to stand once more.
Helping our heroes when they fall is not to say we are dismissing what caused them to fall or fail. It is the opportunity for both us and them to face hard truths. They are the teachable moments for us all that become the bridge to healing and helping our heroes to dare to be great once more. Failing and falling can be humbling. It is only when those who refuse to lift up the fallen and restore them that it ceases to be humbling and then becomes condemnation.
Unless we are willing to restore our heroes, we cannot truly say that we have a heart that is committed to restoring our nation, communities or families. If one person is hurting, it’s not just that one person that suffers. Another reminder of this is when Paul tells how in a body, the whole is affected by the simple fact that one member of that body is hurt. It is only in trauma care where cutting off a toe or other limb becomes the solution. However, that is not healing; it is sacrifice in order to salvage, not to produce salvation. We must stop sacrificing, believing that we are saving the body, family, community and nation. We must heal by helping the whole body.
QUESTION: How will you deal with heroes who fall from favor?