Not long ago, I found a box containing an important item from my childhood: a paper with the autographs of a late-1980s University of Louisville Basketball team. I remember as a kid being in awe of players from U of L and from the Cincinnati Reds. I collected baseball cards and autographs and that paper full of signatures took me back.

It’s amazing to see the aura that surrounds star athletes. Even grown men will wait in line for hours just for the chance at a handshake or an autograph. Clearly, these athletes are gifted and most of them have worked harder than we can imagine to get to where they are. Yet, I’m saddened at the idolization given to such people. No matter what, they are just people.

Proverbs 22:2–“The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord made them both” (HCSB). The Lord made them both. Let that sink in. That athlete you idolize. That team you would (in some cases literally) give your life for. That coach you wish you could trade places with. That player making more money than you could spend in three lifetimes. And, yes, you…the Lord made you both. We are all flesh and blood, made by the Lord for His glory, to know and to be known by Him. Rich, poor, talented, not any good, in the prime of life, washed up. The Lord made them all.

Contrary to public momentum, being rich or talented does not make you any more or less human, any more or less a sinner, any more or less in need of Jesus. Humility and reverence for the Lord should be the result of that realization. Money and talent earn you nothing before the Lord. You still need His grace. Poverty and a lack of skill do nothing to your standing before the Lord. You still need His grace.

Be more impressed with God than you are with yourself or the athletes you idolize.

Here’s a prayer if you relate:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the reminder that everyone stands on equal ground before your Cross. May I idolize only you. Not me. Not anyone else. Only you. Amen.