The Pedestal

Pedestal - a position in which someone is greatly or uncritically admired.

Chances are we all have heard that word. We probably know the meaning of the term “pedestaling someone" and we all have pedestaled people or been pedestaled ourselves at some time in our lives.
For me, I have grown up in a very Christian environment, which I am extremely grateful to the Lord for. I was raised by godly parents, have attended an assembly of believers from before I was born, participated in many Bible studies, was a Bible quizzer, a National Bible Bee participant and Awana attendee.

I was blessed to be saved at a young age and all of the above have continued to encourage and spur me on toward a deeper walk with my Lord.

Yet, there is one small thing that I went through at different ages and stages during those years…I was pedestaled.

Now after reading that definition of the term pedestal, it might not seem like such a bad thing for one to experience. Yet, to be truthful, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Look, I’m just going to be upfront and ask a small favor of all of you. Can we stop pedestaling people? (1 Corinthians 3:5)

Ancient Pillars

How often do we forget that we are all one in Christ? We all have the same Holy Spirit, the same God, the same Bible, the same Great Commission, the same hope and the same eternal destination of Heaven. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

There are no A Class, B Class, or C Class Christians. You are either a Christian or a nonbeliever, period. No other classes or distinctions are out there. (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11)

While we may all know this truth, we don't always live it out.

I’d like to present to you that you have probably classified, perhaps unconsciously, groups of Christians into “classes.”

  • A Class - Those who have big public ministries whether that be in film, pastoral role, author, musician, speaker or such
  • B Class - Those who have a decent sized ministry in the above areas locally
  • C Class -  Those in smaller ministry areas in public areas - Sunday school teacher, lay minister
  • D Class - Those with “ordinary” jobs, the 8-5 ones
  • E Class - Those in jobs we can tend to view as pretty worthless as far as building the Kingdom of Christ is concerned, the ones we sometimes see ourselves above doing - janitor, garbage man, dishes (yes, they count!)

My above classifications were made up on the spot and I firmly believe they are utterly ridiculous. Yet, I am pretty sure I hit the nail on the head when it comes to how you and I can tend to feel when it comes to serving the Lord. We as believers claim we don’t care about numbers, yet we seem to gravitate back towards that deception of equaling large numerics with success.

We pedestal that “famous” Christian, or maybe our pastor, a family member or a friend. As a result, we can tend to start viewing our work as secondary and unimportant compared to what that other person is doing.

We start to view that person through rose-colored glasses and ultimately we start feeling like failures in our own service to the Lord.

As one who has been pedestaled in the past, I’d like to give you a glimpse what the other side feels like. To be honest, it is first and foremost a pride inflator and it makes pride all that much more harder to deal with. Secondly, when people start to pedestal you, you start feeling pressured to perform and fulfill everyone’s expectations and most dangerously…you tend to have a hard time sharing your struggles with others. After all, who wants to admit that you don’t live up to the pedestaling you are receiving!

Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying we shouldn’t show respect to older and wiser believers. I am not saying we can’t admire or deeply appreciate a fellow brother or sister in Christ. Yet, we need to keep the proper perspective that we all are on the same playing field. (Leviticus 19:32, Proverbs 16:31, Philippians 2:3-5)

There’s no higher classes among God’s warriors. God’s the commander-in-chief and there’s no captains, sergeants or lieutenants, just foot-soldiers serving their King.

Deeper maturity and more responsibility among the warriors yes, higher rankings and classifications, no. (Matthew 24:15, Hebrews 5:14)

The Lord has really blessed me by placing a small group of believers in my life who have been walking with the Lord for over six decades. It is such a blessing to be around such mature believers and they have certainly taught me something - as believers we never arrive, there is always more to be learned, fuller submission to Christ in our daily lives to be attained by the power of the Holy Spirit, and more to gleaned from the Word. These brothers and sisters are passionately serving the Lord, yet it is with humility with no desire for a pedestal. They simply point back to Jesus with their lives. I pray that I will live my life in the same light.

Finally, success in the Kingdom of Christ is so radically different to what the world views as success. There are believers in my life that you will never hear about on national television. They are never going to become household names. They are never going to be on the cover of a magazine. They are never going to have a viral video.

Yet I am 100% certain that when they arrive home in Heaven they will receive a very hearty, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” from the Lord they have so faithfully served and honored here. (Hebrews 6:10)

I write this much to conclude with this, there is no unimportant service in the Kingdom of Christ! I don’t necessarily know what ways you are serving the Lord right now, but I don’t need to know to be able to confidently say this. You are making an eternal difference in the Kingdom of Christ! Because any service, no matter how small, done in the power of the Holy Spirit is eternal. (Galatians 6:8-10)

Lawnmower in Grass

So take heart my brothers and sisters, God is using you in mighty ways for His glory! Keep being faithful in whatever God has called you to, no matter whether you view them as big or small things. I can firmly encourage you in this, everything God has called you to has eternal significance. For that matter, rejoice in the fact that the God of the universe who spoke galaxies into existence by His word is using you, to fulfill a part of His eternal, perfect, unchanging plan! Wonders of wonders! Thank you Jesus! Forward for the glory of the King!

"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." - 1 Corinthians 3:7