When we were kids, we all had heroes. Some of us chose superheroes like Superman or Spiderman (while Batman was certainly a hero, his lack of super powers prevents me from calling him a superhero…sorry). Others chose athletes, musicians, actors, or other famous, successful people. But as we get older, we realize that the true heroes in our lives were those that made a direct impact on us and somehow shaped the person we have become.
It is those people, the true heroes, that should inspire us to be heroes for someone else. But it seems like far too many people shy away from the responsibility of being a hero. There are several reasons that people do this, but instead of going into those I have provided some very important reasons that we should all strive to be heroes.
1. You cannot count on anyone else to do it. – Unfortunately, we live in a society where it is very difficult to trust and depend on other people. People are busier, more distracted, and increasingly more selfish these days. So if you want to get something done, you really should do it yourself. Your actions are the only ones that you can control.
2. People need your help. – I don’t know if I am just becoming more aware as I get older or things are really getting tougher for people, but there are more people in need in my community than I ever imagined. Poverty, illness, and homelessness seem to be on the rise at a faster pace than help that can be provided. And, of course, there are villains out there.
While Lex Luthor and the Joker cause devastating havoc and mayhem in the comics and on the big stream, I haven’t seen much from them in real life. However, I’m sure they would be happy to know that their work is being carried out by others. I’m not necessarily talking about the terrorists, murderers, and thieves. There are other heroes that will battle those villains.
The villains you and I need to eliminate are the negative messages our youth are getting in the media, the hunger of the unfed in our community, the selfish attitudes of those around us, and the general lack of love being shown to God’s children. These are villains we are all empowered to take down.
3. You are empowered to be a hero. - “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)
In this passage, we tend to focus on going out to be witnesses in our community and throughout the world. That is a very important message, but we tend to ignore the fact that we are given power through the Holy Spirit. As the book of Acts continues, we see the disciples healing people, speaking in different languages, and doing things they never imagined possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In case this hasn’t occurred to you, that is the same Holy Spirit that lives inside every Christian. If you are a follower of Christ, you have the power to do His work. You have the power to help people. You have the power to be a hero.
4. You are called to be a hero. – “Whoever claims to live in [Jesus] must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6)
Jesus spent time with the outcasts in society that had no friends. He loved. He listened. He told people to give their money away. He taught that we should love others as ourselves. He held people accountable for their actions. He fed the hungry. He healed the sick. He was tortured, beaten, and killed for you. If these things are not heroic, I don’t know what is.
If we are commanded to live as Jesus did, then we have no choice but to be heroes.
What is one thing you can do this week that would be heroic?