“Oh how the mighty have fallen” is the essence of Schadenfreude — the delight we can all take in seeing someone taken down a notch.
The problem with Schadenfreude, though, is where it originates… it’s not from anything good and lovely, but from a darker side of our selves. If we look at the Hebrew term for the devil – HaSatan – we find it means the accuser. So remember that when setting people up and delighting in knocking them down, this is not of God. What’s of God?
In a fallen athlete, remembering the physical heights to which the person has risen, and understanding the humanity and frailty which we all have in common.
In a fallen leader, remember the ideals they espoused in one area are not untrue because the leader turned out to be less than a paragon of virtue in another area.
Consider how unfair it is to the people we put up on a pedestal, to expect them to be God? Remember one of the ten commandments… No other God but God.