The older I get the more I realize there is no need to be impressed by people. I put myself at the front of this list, and since I have no need to impress myself, I am beginning to find no need to impress others. What a huge weight lifted!
It happens to all of us. We meet that dazzling person who shines above the rest, outwardly successful, easy to like, and hard to compete with. We are star struck and we think, "Now that's really someone." It doesn't ever look the same. It could be someone who looks like Mother Theresa, always offering something of value to everyone around her. It could be the mom who appears to juggle life with ease, always organized, always doing something creative and fun with her kids, yet still somehow managing to be an amazing wife to her husband. Maybe it's a missionary who is giving up his whole life to live in a foreign country to take care of orphans. It could be the straight A student, the athlete, or the celebrity. It could be a million different people doing a million different significant things that we ourselves wish we could emulate.
We are so easily impressed. We are so drawn towards putting people on pedestals. I'll tell you what happens to people on pedestals. They fall. The higher the harder. I've seen it happen. We all have. Presidents, actors, pastors, family, friends... anyone we exalt above imperfect humanity will disappoint.
This is what is so beautiful to me about the concept of sinful humans needing a perfect savior. This is why I am so enthralled by Jesus, who He is and what He stands for. We don't need to look far to realize that perfection in this world is obsolete. We allow ourselves to be impressed with seemingly good people only to be hurt and disappointed. This sounds critical and pessimistic without the other side of the story. The grace side.
You don't need grace if you don't have a problem. And boy do I need grace. I have a problem... a sin problem. My motives are selfish in everything I do. I enjoy self-promoting. I like to make my life look perfect on Social Media (or funny, or ironic, or interesting, or dramatic). I sometimes look through all my "likes" on Facebook just to see who supports me, cares about me, and is watching me. I think if we're all honest, we can say the same things. Sure... these things may be a little ego-centric, but they are essentially harmless, right? Wrong. What I say with my actions, what is emerging from the depths of my heart is that I want to be lifted up, noticed, and admired. I desire man's approval. This heart condition rebels against the God who made me. He made me to reflect His glory. He did not create me to be the center. He is the creator, I am the created.
Art is to be greatly admired. It is to be appreciated. It is even to be praised, but the Artist is the one who gets the glory. I believe it is possible to appreciate people, to admire people, and even to praise people in a way that glorifies God. It all centers around grace. You never expect a piece of art to fix a flaw in itself. You immediately look to the Artist. In the same way, I cannot look at another person, or even myself and say "right this wrong." I am forced to look to the focal point. The Artist must hold my attention.
When our eyes are fixed on perfection, everything else around us looks dim. People seem less impressive, and rightfully so. We stop giving ourselves such a hard time. We aren't surprised or even upset when we fail. We take correction because we know we need to be corrected. We give more grace to the "just people" who are stumbling through life just like we are. We stop judging, and we are moved to come to each other's aid, saying, "Look! Do you see Him? Perfection is calling out to us! He is making us more like Him. He is doing what He said He would do. He is righting all wrongs. He is faithful. He is beautiful. He IS!"