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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns Jesus Without The Junk Jesus Without The Junk: The Good, Bad and Ugly of Being a Hero

Jesus Without The Junk: The Good, Bad and Ugly of Being a Hero

By: Molly Painter

I think we should be careful when we use the title “hero” to assess another’s accomplishments and to denote how we feel about them.  Too often, when we become carried away, what we really end up feeling is that they are “gods” and can do no wrong.
The origin of the word hero comes from a Greek word that means “warrior” or “defender” and according to means “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.”
I do believe that the Lord has raised up particular people on this earth bestowing upon them exceptional gifts in order to be used as role models.  As far as I am concerned, that concept is biblical in origin.  However, where we begin to have trouble with those we consider a hero is that often, we become too extreme in our feelings and then end up putting them on a pedestal.  They, in turn, begin to fall for the hype you, the media and I have created.  The result is that we castigate them for being less than a “perfect” person when they display failings in any area of their lives. 
Lance Armstrong is but the latest in the string of celebrities who has fallen victim to an image that the world created and when he fell, it was with a resounding thud.  He is, however, not entirely to blame. 
I believe there are people put on this earth who are given exceptional abilities but are gifted only to be mentors, giving hope and inspiration for others in their own lives.  Too often, however, our feelings border on obsession and then, somehow, we forget that they are only like the rest of us—imperfect—but then we rake them over the coals when they disappoint us.
Lance and others were wrong to take God-given talents and abuse them; plain and simple.  The deceit is almost incomprehensible but…he survived cancer and his foundation has raised much for cancer research.  He tumbled down the hill but have mercy—he is only human. And look what his foundation has done for humankind.