This is going to sound odd.
It's important for me to remember that other believers sin.
Some of Chris's and my most profitable conversations have arisen from [seemingly] unrelated starting points. Yesterday, I was struggling with the lie that doing a particular mundane thing can make me morally better. No need to go into that further -- at least, not for now -- because that was merely the starting point. It morphed into a discussion about different believers that I admired, and that I considered, "really awesome people."
If you have a list of really awesome people, great! It's good to think positively about the godly people in your life! Just don't take it as far as I tend to. I like to create standards for myself via other people. As a black and white thinker, I either grow bitter towards those "standard" people out of frustration that I'll never be able to be "as good as them," or I'll put them on a pedestal and, star-struck, continuously praise them in my head, wondering if I'll ever be able to be as cool as they are. In my eyes, they do everything right.
It looks quite juvenile all typed out, but there you have it. Chris proceeded to warn me about how dangerous this kind of hero-worship is. People are sinful. They will always let me down, and while it is wonderful to imitate others living a godly life, it's detrimental to set their lives up as perfect and complete standards for living. All people, even they, struggle with sin, whether or not the sins are visible. The only standard I must have is Christ, in the acknowledgment that it is by his grace alone that I strive to be more like him.
Chris's warning about hero worship was not one I'd never heard before -- au contraire -- but it was a much-needed reminder. After all, I didn't even realize what I was doing until the topic came up. I was dabbling in idolatry without a second thought, because it seemed that if I chose good idols, they wouldn't count as idols at all!
Silly human that I am! "Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24-25)