We live in a culture that frequently exalts people who lack character. Many sinful men and women become celebrities and heroes.
But Christians should have different criteria when picking heroes because:
1. We are in the world but not of it (John 17:14-16).
We should be different!
2. We honor positions out of respect for God.
God commands honor for our parents (Ephesians 6:2), the elderly (1 Timothy 5:1-2), and government officials (Romans 13:1-7).
3. But we only honor the character of those who honor God.
"Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret."(1)
4. We're careful because we know that we become like the people we admire (1 Corinthians 15:33).
5. We strive to show kindness to all men, but we choose our heroes and friendships Biblically.(2)
(1) verses 10-12 of Ephesians 5:1-14.
(2) See “How, Who, and What to Judge According to Scripture.”
1. God rebukes Eli for honoring his wicked sons. This is an interesting passage because it deals with the parent-child relationship.
In 1 Samuel 2, the priest Eli talks to his sons about their evil behavior but does nothing else. So the Lord speaks to him:
Verses 29-30: Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel! 30 “Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.
Eli's sons were in ministry (both priests), so their wickedness was especially disturbing. Luke 14:26 warns against letting family relationships get in the way of our relationship with the Lord.
2 . Note the character of those described in this passage and how it resembles some popular celebrities.
Isaiah 5:20-23: What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. 21 What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever. 22 What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold. 23 They take bribes to let the wicked go free, and they punish the innocent.
They live for evil purposes, calling evil things "good" and good things "evil." They admire themselves even though they are self-indulgent and dishonest.
3. Read the following passage in Ephesians and examine your "heroes." Ask God if any need to be taken off your list.
Ephesians 5:10-14: Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, Bite Size Bible Study