It still isn’t clear what happened in the case of Oscar Pistorius. The Olympian nicknamed 'Blade Runner' is accused of the fatal shooting of his girlfriend at his house in South Africa. Whatever the verdict reached by the official lines of enquiry it is fair to say that this represents an extraordinary story of a man who was held in such high esteem only months ago at the Olympics and Paralympics, and who's life now lies in tatters and a huge amount of uncertainty.
Recently we’ve seen many well known personalities and “heroes” fall from great heights. Lance Armstrong was an inspiration to others having survived cancer to win the Tour de France 7 times, but has been exposed as a man who used doping to achieve this. I have watched Lance's admission on Oprah, and see a man who has became so embroiled in extravagant lies that he doesn’t really know where the line between truth and dishonesty is.
These are just two of the men who have inspired us, who have raised our aspirations, but then have been found to be less than perfect. And it isn’t just celebrities. I realise that if I experienced such fame and was in the public eye that I too would be exposed as someone who is far from perfect. I am part of a human race which is in essence fallible, and therefore I make mistakes. I mess up. As a result I have been asking myself the question; who can I trust, or who can I aspire to?
The truth is that I have come to realise that there is only one who will never let us down. There is one who has experienced every emotion, and every temptation that we have faced yet has not succumbed to it. Where we have been powerless against sin, he has conquered it on our behalf. Where we are weak, he is strong. Where we are let down by others, he never lets go. "Far better to take refuge in God, than trust in people; far better to trust in God than trust in celebrities." (Psalm 118:8*)
The surprising story for us is not that we as humans mess up, but that Jesus despite knowing all of our flaws chooses to show us a love that is unconditional. In Jesus we can find a true hero, a hero that knows us by name. Will you choose to trust him?
* Message version
[Originally published Feb 2013]