Beware of Pedestals by Tamara Eaton In the past twenty years, the Homeschooling community has produced its share of speakers, writers, workshop leaders, and "veteran" homeschool parents--many who speak authoritatively on a vast number of subjects. While it's true that the Lord uses human vessels to teach, encourage, rebuke, and exhort, He never wants us to put any man or woman on a pedestal-- or worse, let them replace the function of His Holy Spirit in our lives. There is a temptation to look at others who have more experience in certain areas and place them on pedestals, as well as seek to imitate them--but God doesn't want us to be molded into anyone else's image but conformed into the image of His Son! (Romans 8:29) He has created each one uniquely, with different strengths and weaknesses. He never encouraged anyone to follow others except as they were following Him, and everything we read and hear must be weighed in light of His Word and filtered through Him. There is also a danger in allowing others to put us on pedestals. Sometimes we might receive human recognition, honor and praise, but we'd better lift it up to the Lord, giving Him all the glory, and not keep it ourselves. No flesh is going to glory in His presence and if we want Him to dwell with us, we'd better humble ourselves and exalt Him alone! The Lord wants us to concentrate on our own relationship with Him, growing in His Word and in grace and mercy, allowing Him to bring our family into conformity with His Word, overcoming the trials He allows and, as a result, glorifying Him instead of ourselves and pointing others toward Him as The Expert-- omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God of the Universe! Others will then see Jesus and be drawn to Him, and when we share, we'll be able to share out of what HE has done in our lives--not boasting of how long we've been a Christian or how long we've homeschooled, or even how many children we've taught! "Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces, none will go unpunished."-- Proverbs 16:5 (Scary thought!) Homeschooling for a long time, or having many children doesn't necessarily make one an expert. Neither does designing a curriculum or writing a book! What really matters is: What does God think about this? What does His Word say? What is His will for our family? Does the advice point us toward the Lord as our Ultimate Source? (Psalm 1) A close, daily relationship with God will enable us to recognize and learn to crucify the flesh and pride. When we see how beautiful He is, and how it's only through His Blood that we have been forgiven and are able to stand before Him, then we will be reminded of how we have no reason to have ANY pride--and that should motivate us to share humbly and meekly with others, bestowing mercy and grace--even as the Lord demonstrated His mercy and grace in our own lives. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." -- 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 Let's keep on shining for Him and allow Jesus alone to be exalted. Yes, we should appreciate and be thankful for the earthen vessels God uses in our lives, but let's remove all those pedestals and worship only the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords--Jesus Christ, taking time to seek His opinion first and foremost--after all, His is the only one that matters!