Psalms 34:4 - I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Story of my life, right there. This entire week I've tried to, once again, place my focus on strengthening my relationship with God, and I'm not going to lie.
It's really, really difficult to keep that focus.
I fail. Constantly, I fail. I have to remind myself of my goal incessantly because if I let myself slip, even for a moment, it's back to square one. And it's frustrating because I know I can do better. I know I can try harder to clean up my act, to be a better person and Christian, but even at my best, the thoughts are still there. I still have to fight to keep myself in check, especially this blasted tongue of mine.
Despite the fact that I do have to rely entirely on God to "deliver me from all my fears," I have a really bad habit of idolizing other people who are closer to God than I am or, at least, people I think have a stronger faith than I do. On it's own, that's not a terrible tendency, but the catch comes when those heroes and mentors fall. Because when they screw up, I fall right along with them, and my excuse, of course, is that if they can do it, it must be okay. The logic is twisted, yes, but that's human nature for you, twisted.
I've seen people go down hard, people I looked up to and respected and turned to for help in almost every aspect of life. Whether it's using God's name to advance their personal status and fame or blatantly going against the very things they supposedly stand for, it's not easy to uphold the standards taught in an atmosphere of hypocrisy.
Granted, human nature is overwhelming at times, and everyone falls. I get that. Regardless though, it can hinder those who are still learning, those like me who yearn to be closer to God but need true and dependable guidance to get there. I'm not calling anyone particular out, and this is in no way an attack on any specific person or people, but from a young Christian who has seen leaders crumble under the weight of sin, think about the people who look up to you. Think about your followers, those who turn to you when their back is against the wall, when there's no one else to turn to.
Because when you fall, you throw them into a state of confusion and uncertainty, and if they're anything like me, it'll take a long time to build up that stability again.
And it'll take even longer to build back up their trust in you.