P1030617A movement is underway in the United States to tear down statues that many find offensive. Without getting into the pros and cons of these events, I would like to ask but one question: Who has lived a life without committing offenses?

The answer: No one.

If we were to investigate closely the lives of those men and women for whom statues are raised to honor them, people who lived lives considered praiseworthy, what would we find? Offenses, I can assure you. Should I post here a list of presidents, movie and sports stars, church leaders, and other notable people who have committed adultery, beat their spouses, or sexually abused children? Although several come to mind, I’d rather not, because those individual sins, as loathsome as they are, are subsumed under this overarching biblical truth: Everyone is a terrible sinner and is subject to God’s punishment. This is true of saints, as well. They were all sinners. This, of course, is why Jesus came. He suffered that punishment as if He were a sinner, although He was innocent.

I understand the behavior of erecting statues to honor people, but from God’s point of view, from an eternal point of view, no person should have a statue erected in his or her honor. In addition, we have these verses to consider:

“So let no one boast in men” (1 Corinthians 3:21).1

“Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed?” (Isaiah 2:22).2

“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14b).3

Do I want to pull down statues? No. This is just the way the world is and has been for a very long time. Every culture, I think, honors those people who have been stronger, greater, victorious, honorable, successful, more innovative than others. I will not have a statue erected in my honor, and it is quite probable that the reader will not, either. That is fine. That is good. Because here is what all believers should hold dear:

“Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:23–24).4

And the words below we should all desire hear, far above any earthly honor of any kind; indeed which will make all earthly honor seem as nothing:

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23).5

 

1The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

2New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

3The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

4Ibid.

5Ibid.

 

 

 

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