Imagine your sphere of leadership: however large or small it is (we all are leaders in some capacity). Balancing “the real you” with people’s diverse expectations is an ever-constant and deep struggle.
Am I right?
Imagine having to balance out the person everyone else thinks you are with the “you that stares back at yourself”. As much as you don’t want to give the impression of who you are not, the limelight automatically places an expectation on the person you are supposed to be and how you are supposed to act.
A few years ago, news of a popular televangelist’s marital issues went viral (across media platforms). People did not show him mercy, especially with their polemic comments- allegations flying here and there, assumptions dancing on bare feet and careless words taking a walk in the park.
If you still don’t understand what I mean, let me give a more practical example. There was a time Bishop T.D Jakes wore ripped jeans to preach on the pulpit. The intensity of criticism was more than comments on the message preached.
People create images of leaders and celebrities- this could be due to the “position” they occupy, which makes them “eye level” for everyone- but we should learn to show mercy and remember that these people are somewhat as “clueless” as we are. Most of them didn’t ask to be seen as role models or examples. They just did something that was well accepted by members of the society.
Placing people on a high pedestal does not only affect them personally but affects you as well. People should not be our standards.
God is the ONLY standard.
When you create a non-realistic expectation of people in your mind then they become the standard, and that could be destructive.
Another thing to bear in mind- especially when these so-called celebrities make mistakes is that a person is much more than their mistakes. Yea, I know you are thinking ‘but he is my pastor (leader, influencer) he should know better’ ….. just remember that you are as flawed as they are.
By all means, respect and honour people in authority over you. However, NEVER SAY NEVER, because no one is above mistakes. When an influential person makes a mistake, grace him/her with mercy first- not judgment, pride or a fix-it-attitude.
Be the mercy you want to see.
Be the grace you want to see.
Be the forgiveness you want to see.
Let me know what you think.