We have a tendency to elevate people, and to vilify them, to the point we forget our common humanity. Remembering others are men like us helps keep them in proper perspective.
Perhaps we do this first with our parents – thinking they hung the moon as a little kid, only to see them as helplessly clueless by the time we reach our teenage years.
And we’re prone to treat public figures and leaders in a similar fashion. Some we believe can do no wrong, while others we believe can do no right.
Both extremes miss our common humanity. And we’re all a mix of sinner and saint.
When we put someone on a pedestal it seems kindhearted and good. But it puts them in a different category and we judge them by a different standard than we judge ourselves.
We might give ourselves grace for our many shortcomings, but we expect them to be near perfect – and impossible standard for them to uphold. And we feel betrayed when they let us down.
Remembering their humanity allows us to respect their gifting without idolizing them.
And the reverse is also true.
We can vilify those we disagree with. And it’s not that we simply see things differently. We come to believe they’re the very incarnation of evil – hating any and everything they say and do.
While evil certainly exist, most people we disagree with are men just like us. And there’s probably a lot of common groundwe’re missing seeing them only through our hate.
Remembering our common humanity allows us to respect their dignity as fellow image bearers of God even when we passionately disagree with them on certain issues.
Whether on a pedestal or in the mud, we do each other a disservice when we don’t see accurately as God sees us.
Certainly there are those you admire and those you don’t. But in either case it’s good to remember they’re men just like you.
Photo by Mariano Nocetti on Unsplash