I sometimes have to check myself because I feel like I am becoming an idolater. If I don’t keep myself in check, I know that I can easily slip over the line from mere admiration to something much worse: Idolatry
I am not a touch-typist. I have to look at the keyboard to see the letters I am typing, so I know I may be slipping over the line to idolatry when the only thing I can type without looking is a certain person’s name.
Over the last few weeks, I have been very conscious that the name Michael Hyatt has come up very frequently in my speech both verbal and online, to the point that I have had to take a hard look at myself to see which side of the line I’m currently on.
Some of my goals are to:
- Learn to be a better writer
- Develop and improve my blogging skills
- Learn to lead more effectively
- Be a better business man
- Get my books published
- Share and develop my passion for Christians to use the Internet, including social media, in the best possible way to further the Kingdom of God and give glory to Him.
Michael Hyatt’s online work is one of the best resources I’ve found anywhere to help me learn about, develop and improve any and all of those goals. It constantly amazes me how much what he shares online teaches me and guide me toward reaching my goals.
Michael’s blog is:
- Clear, concise and easy to read
- Of a consistently high standard
- Written with the aim of helping others improve
- Focused and informative
- Obviously written by a man who is intelligent and has a wealth of experience which he is willing to share
- Not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ even though it may alienate some potential readers
Michael also shares links to other valuable resources whenever he finds them. It’s like having a personal assistant to do all of the leg-work for me!
Not an Idol Though
HOWEVER… Michael Hyatt is human and is therefore as flawed and broken as all the rest of us. He’s not worth idolizing.
I have never met the man, never spoken to him in person, never seen how he truly interacts with his wife and family, never seen how he leads his business, never observed how he truly lives his life. In short, I have no idea whether he walks the walk or just talks the talk.
Even if I HAD seen all of these things and had seen for myself that he acts and lives as he suggests we should, Michael Hyatt would still be human, still be as flawed and broken as the rest of us and still not be worth idolizing.
Setting Up an Idol
Many people pin their faith, their hope, their very fragile sense of security on an idol in the form of a man or woman. Admiration can so quickly become idolatry that it’s hard to see it happening and, when it does happen, it’s easy to deny the reality of it.
Once we cross the line, the idol becomes an emotional crutch for the idolater and when that idol inevitably falls (or even simply dies) it can be crushing emotionally, spiritually and even physically. Suddenly everything that person stood for, everything they taught, everything they told you was true is thrown into doubt – and when that person is a Christian leader, it can make you doubt your whole faith in God.
I constantly take care to separate the man from the message. I love what Michael Hyatt is teaching and I enjoy and learn from his blog and tweets but I take times like these to remind myself that he’s just a guy, just another fallen man.
Michael the Ax-Murderer
If it came out that Michael was living a secret life as an ax-murderer, it wouldn’t crush me. Sure, I’d be praying for him and his family and it would remind me to take a good look at myself and see if I am hiding secret sin but it wouldn’t knock me flat, it wouldn’t pull the rug from under my feet.
That is why I can honestly say that Michael Hyatt is not my idol. He’s not perfect, he makes mistakes all the time. Just ask him about the time he tweeted about politics, for instance.
For as long as Michael continues to be a valuable resource for me and for others online, I will continue to share links to his posts and tweets but don’t be fooled: He’s just a man, he’s not God – and don’t let me or anyone else tell you anything different.
How about you? Do you have people you idolize, or come close to idolizing? How do you keep yourself on the right side of the line?