Relational Sanity Pt 4: Don’t put anyone on a pedestal

I had a dream a few months ago.  Two people whom I love and respect put a plate in front of me that had a mixture of clean and unclean foods on it, and I had to reject it.

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Sometimes dreams are just that simple, but they have profound meaning.

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Now these are both people whom I trust, whose counsel I seek out, but like everyone else they are fallible.  They mean to give out nothing but good advice (don’t we all?) but the truth is that no one ever gives out good counsel 100% of the time.  We are human, and we blow it sometimes.  We might be having a bad day, or we may be suffering from an extreme blind spot or prejudice in an area.  Sometimes we can be so blinded by past trauma, or certain unquestioned teachings, that we can’t see the forest for the trees and we end up presenting a plate of good and evil for those who come to us.

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It doesn’t mean that the person who did it has evil intentions, because there is good on the plate as well, but it does mean that we cannot afford to blindly accept the counsel of anyone — even the very wise!

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We have to know how to walk away from what they are offering us without walking away from them.

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I was thinking about Job’s friends.  Do you think he went out and pursued a bunch of heartless fools for friends, or rather that these were wise men who had paradigms?  A paradigm is a distinct thought pattern, generally so deeply ingrained that we do not question it.  We all have them, we just aren’t aware of them because paradigms are seen as bedrock truths.  We don’t question them because we regard them as foundational.  We can’t even go looking for them because our minds generally will not allow it.  Oftentimes our only hope is that God will bring us revelation in that area.

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What an irritating predicament!  As a result of these mindless mindsets, we offer people plates full of advice that are a mixture of good and evil, clean and unclean.  If we have ourselves up on that pedestal, we will demand that people eat of that plate of good and evil, every single bite.  If we come down off that pedestal, I think we will be less likely to hand out anything at all, and incredibly cautious when we do.

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So do people a favor and if you have them on a pedestal, please gently allow them a way down from it.  It isn’t fair to have them up there – not for them and not for you, and certainly not to the only One who should be on anyone’s pedestal.  Let’s face reality, we are all imperfect.  Striving towards perfection, yes, but imperfect.  It is an act of mercy to recognize that about others, an act of humility to realize it about ourselves and wisdom to put it into practice.

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