The higher the pedestal we place people on the further they fall in our estimation. This hurts both them and us; them, because they have no recourse to remedy when they’ve disappointed us; and us, because we keep at arm’s length the powers of forgiveness we could otherwise access.
The extremes of relationship expectations occur like that akin to borderline personality disorder, where there are fine lines between love and hate. Where we love a pastor or Christian leader, for instance, I mean to the point of holy deference, we risk sliding into loathing when they fail us. And they will. The point is, our expectations will place them in a position where they must fail us; they cannot possibly live up to the heights we decree them.
The solution is this: remember that despite any person’s competence and character, they, like we, are sinners in need of saving. They need Jesus as much as we do.
Putting anyone atop a pedestal is fraught with danger, even if those we place there have definitive responsibilities of leadership. Consider that they may not be perceived to have failed these leadership responsibilities, even if we think they have. Where does that leave us, if we think someone has failed us, but others think nothing of it?
It is easier to plan for the fact that people fail us. The higher we estimate a person’s worth, the worse we feel when they fail to meet that standard. This is not their problem. It’s ours.
When relationship expectations reach unreasonable heights, forgiveness becomes harder than ever. When the lofty have fallen, there is no recourse to forgive them.
It’s better not to put them in that position of power over us. Besides the accountability others have in the roles given to them, let us allow them to be fallible.