Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Greatness of Our Friends

One of my responsibilities is to keep our church website up to date. In doing that, it is necessary to inform people of upcoming events. I find it difficult at times to know what to write. One of our church members is an author who will be teaching a ladies’ Bible study class based around her latest book. Before her husband retired from full time pastoring, I knew this author as the wife of a preacher in our local association. But there are many women who first met her through her book “What’s a Girl to Do?” a book that teaches teenage girls biblical principles on how they should handle many of the problems they face. The issue I have is that while I may see this author as just another church member talking about her in that way doesn’t do much to encourage people outside of our church to consider attending the class she is teaching. It’s easy for me to say that she’s just like our other teachers—they’re all great, but how many outsiders would believe that. They’re looking for proof. So I want to talk about her credentials, but I fear I’ll oversell her. I doubt I have anything to fear.

I think what I see happening here is that I’ve grown up with this idea that the great things people say about other people must be true and none of the people I know personally can possibly be that great. I suspect their friends think the same thing of them. The reason I say that is because I know some people who are absolutely great at what they do. They don’t get the press that some other people get doing the same thing and wouldn’t like it if they did, but that doesn’t mean they are any less great at what they do. In fact, they often impress me as being better at what they do than some of the better known people. It is simply a case of the old inferiority complex directed at one’s closest associates. It’s like school cafeteria food. No matter how well the cooks prepare it, the students will never think it is great.

We have to overcome this inferiority complex and recognize greatness in our friends. That isn’t easy to do, but if we don’t we may not fully appreciate the things that are right under our noses. Worse, we may promote the inferior over the superior.