Jun 13

Super Heroes

RCOI’ll be honest, I’m a bit of a geek and a nerd. And no quintessential nerd is complete without a few super heroes in their life, for instance Spider-Man, Batman and Luke Skywalker. While the occasional super hero is all well and good on the pages of a comic book or movie screen, I think some Christians try to create their own super heroes in their own life. Allow me to explain.

Some Christians will create their own version of a super hero in their own church congregation or in the world-wide church. Whether that is their pastor, a general member who is active in missions or perhaps a famous pastor or missionary. On the flip side, other Christians will attempt to be their own super hero and do everything. Neither are healthy views.

When we begin to put other people on the pedestal of super heroism it tends to do one of two things. The first is to cause them to feel that the super hero Christian has everything under control and they don’t need to do anything. They don’t need to serve in the soup kitchen, witness to their neighbor or volunteer on a mission trip because their super hero is already doing those things. The other thing that may happen is we may begin to feel inferior or worthless. We can’t possibly measure up to the missionary that gave up all worldly things to share the Gospel, or we certainly don’t have the Biblical knowledge of our televised pastor and we certainly don’t have the resources of our fellow congregation member who owns a lucrative business. How can we possibly measure up to these people?

The fact is that we don’t have to measure up to what others are doing. Our measurement is Jesus Christ who gave his all for us. And before Christ left to be with the Father before his second coming, he gave this command: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28: 19-20a) That command was given to everyone, not just a select few.

The person who looks at others’ abilities and shrugs from his responsibilities as a Christian is no different than the person who was given one talent by his master in Matthew chapter 25. In the parable of the talents, we read of a man leaving on a long journey. Before he leaves he entrusts his servants with certain portions of his property. To one he gave five talents, to another he gave two and to the last he gave one talent, each according to their ability. We read on that the servants who were given five and two talents went and used them, invested them, and in turn came back with twice what they were given. However, the servant who was given one talent went and buried it in the ground and did nothing with it. Upon the master’s return he was well pleased with the servants who had invested their talents. In fact, the master’s response to both servants was “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25: 21, 23)

But when the master reached the servant given the one talent the master responded, “You wicked, lazy servant! Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25: 26a, 28-30). Pretty strong words there. To the servant that did nothing with his talent, the master called him “wicked”, “lazy” and “worthless”. I never want myself or any of my fellow Christians to have those words said to them, especially by our master Jesus Christ. It is our responsibility as followers of Christ to do what we can with what we are given. And we should want to do those things so that others can experience the grace and mercy that we have found in Christ Jesus.

On the flip side to creating heroes out of others, we can attempt to create heroes out of ourselves. We possibly have all been through eras of our life where we thought that if we stopped doing the good work, everything would fall apart. And we probably all know of at least one person right now that works that way and never accepts help from others. This way of thinking is wrong, too. Honestly, it’s arrogant of someone to think that they are they only one able to do what they are doing or that if they stop the advancement of Christianity everywhere will stop, too. Believe me, our God is not so weak that if you were to stop doing the work you do today that He would fade away. That shouldn’t discount the work that you are doing, and I am certainly glad that you are doing it, because God has chosen all of us to help in His work. But let’s be honest, any work we do is for naught without love and the power of God involved. Everything we do should be for the purposes of honoring and glorifying our Lord. Anything other than that is sin, because we are idolizing ourselves.

Also, I’ve met many super hero Christians who have burned out, or took on a task that was honestly too much for them and it was slowly destroying their lives. They were spending so much time investing in the work that they felt they had to do because they thought they were the only ones doing anything or worthy of anything that their families suffered, their job suffered and honestly their other ministry opportunities suffered, too. Listen, if our Master has granted you five talents consider yourself blessed, but don’t take it upon yourself to invest your five talents and attempt to invest the one talent of someone else. That’s not your job, nor your responsibility, to take on someone else’s task without God giving to your first. If God sees fit to give you the talent of someone else, that’s His option, not yours. You do your job and let God do His. I’m sure He’s far better at it than we are.

Let me begin wrapping all this up with a note to everyone about the Church. Even Superman with his invincible self (aside from kryptonite) and Batman with all his wealth, gadgets and gizmos joined the Justice League. Ironman and Captain America with all their talents joined the Avengers. Even Luke Skywalker joined the Rebellion to overthrow the Empire and later rebuilt the Jedi Order because he knew he couldn’t protect a galaxy alone. My point is that even if you have talents running out your ears and are seeing impressive growth with your work in missions, those talents and growth are seemingly multiplied when it is shared with the Spirit filled people of the Church. Some people can do impressive things on their own, but when they allow themselves to be led and powered by the Spirit, those things pale in comparison. Likewise, when we have a church body behind us to share our successes and tragedies with, to help us further our ministry and support us with prayer we will see far more accomplished for our Lord.

So stop looking down on yourself because you feel as though you only have one talent. Stop idolizing other Christians, because they are doing more than you. Stop being apathetic towards the work that needs to be done. Stop thinking your the only one who can do anything for Jesus. We’re all needed and we all have a role. Let’s ask God to fill us with our Spirit and let’s get that work done! (insert cheesy battle cry) In the end, while we may be average people doing seemingly average things, in Christ Jesus we are all super heroes with the ability to do super things, because he is THE Super Hero. That’s right… we’re all super heroes, because of Christ… just don’t let it go to your head.


Prayer: Father, fill us with your Spirit. We Christians need to wake up and understand the power that is given to us by the Spirit. Huge things can happen when we allow ourselves to be led and used. Help those that think they are worthless in your kingdom to realize their worth and show them the work they can do. Help those that feel they are the only ones working to know they are not, but to also humble themselves and be willing to accept help when offered. Lord, we love you and we want to see your kingdom expand, for others to come to know your love, grace and mercy. Forgive us for where we have failed.