Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. –2 Corinthians 12:10
Over the last few decades, our cultural concept of what makes a hero has changed. In the past, presidents, firefighters, policemen, soldiers, pastors, teachers and star baseball players may have been at the top of most people’s list. Times were much more innocent and the perceptions of what stood out in people’s mind as heroic or worthy of emulating was vastly different than today.
Now, kids are much more interested in the “heroes” of contemporary culture: athletes with huge salaries, musicians, public “icons” made famous by 15 minutes in the media spotlight, fashion models and people who are financially successful. I don’t often regret changes in culture, but in this instance, I sure do. How I wish our view of what was heroic could revert to a more innocent time!
The Bible is clear about what makes someone heroic in God’s eyes. The Apostle Paul learned that if he was going to “boast,” he would boast in the Lord. He dedicated his life to a selfless, sacrificial and grace-filled lifestyle that reflected not only the values of the Kingdom of God but those that mirrored Jesus.
People need heroes. We need people to look up to as models of what is truly meaningful in life. We have more than enough cultural icons. What our children, friends, spouses and neighbors need are not any more posers of what it means to be a hero. What people need to see is a true hero–someone who gives his or her life as a ransom and servant for others! Here’s the good news: we all can be heroes to others around us as we follow and imitate Christ.
1. Who were your heroes when you were growing up? Who are some of the people you would love to be like now in your life?
2. How is the personality and character of Jesus taking shape in you?
2 Corinthians 11:16-33; Hebrews 12