Lessons From Superheroes

Most of us are fascinated by superheroes.

A superhero has “extraordinary or superhuman powers” and is dedicated to protecting the public.

I really can’t think of a good intro to this post, so i’ll jump straight in! 😛

What I really want to go through is some of quotes that i’ve taken to heart, and the lesson behind it as I have grew up being relatively familiar with superheroes; and they tend to make good movies.

I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one. ~ Superman in Superman Returns

I’ve explain this before, but really, the idea boils down to… Are people inherently good? or are people inherently bad? Why do we care?

The problem is that in the secular, North American culture, we really function on the notion that we are inherently good. The greatest sin we can commit nowadays is intolerance; and we claim the way to salvation is to release the inner good through self-help, self-esteem, and self-actualization.

I’m reminded of a study which goes something like this, which I don’t actually have the reference to:

Kids in 6 different nations come together to take a math exam. After the exam, everyone were asked this question: “Are you good at math?” 68% of the Americans answered Yes, yet they scored the lowest score on average of the 6 nations. Scoring the highest average, only 25% of Koreans answered that they are good at math.

In light of this, our belief about the self, does not actually determine how well we’ll live.

Have you ever willfully done things that you know are ‘wrong’? or just refrained from doing ‘right’? I definitely have, and quite often too. I desire to do good, at least most of the time, yet I do bad anyways, in direct opposition of my will (Rom. 7: 18-19). I’m also reminded of the verses that speaks to the evil of humanity. The heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9), It is full of evil and insanity (Ecclesiastes 9:3).

When one is completely truthful with oneself… we’ll hear the same cry, over and over again. We are ALL crying for a saviour, to deliver us from ourselves.

Coming to this realization that we are but broken men in need of a saviour, I am also encouraged by the following:

Because a weak man knows the value of strength, of the value of power. ~ Dr. Erskine in Captain America

It is through our weakness that we can feel power (2 Cor. 12:9-10), through our foolishness (Prov. 19:3) we can see wisdom (Prov. 3:5). We are powerless, but He lives through us to give us power; and precisely because we are broken, we can learn to love our fellow, broken, men (John 15: 9-13). To remind ourselves to remain humble in front of the throne, understanding that “The Church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum of saints.” So that we can invite the sick and broken to be healed.

Remember, with great power. comes great responsibility. ~ Uncle Ben in Spiderman

This… quote is just awesome beyond words. It speaks directly to God’s people!
Why are God’s children so ineffective in this world nowadays? Because we simply wish for a safe, happy life, refusing to take our cross and flap our wings to fly. (more on this idea, see Francis Chan’s videos)

Jesus’ promise to Christians is that we will be doing greater things than He has done on Earth! (John 14:13) We read this lightly, but stop for a second. What did Jesus do when He was on Earth? Jesus turned water into wine, fed multitudes, healed the sick, cured leprosy, gave sight to the blind, let the lame walk and dance, drove out demons, raised the dead and so on. And we are to do things greater than such.

Excited?
Scared?
A bit of both?

You are given this power (yet it is also something i don’t claim often), and the privilege for a responsibility. To bring people into the kingdom and make disciples (Matt 28:16-20), To take care of the earth (Gen 1:28, 2:25), to love others as you have been loved (John 15:12), to lay down your life for friends (John 15:13), to take care of the poor (Jeremiah 22:16), to hold firmly on the truth that you have been given, so that you can encourage and exhort (Titus 1:9), and so on goes the list.

Craig Groeschel, in the epilogue of The Christian Atheist, outlined a visioned that he received from God. I do not have the book on me so I cannot give you the exact quote/story, but it goes something like this:

There are 3 lines in the sand, each represents a different kind of “Christian”. The first line is a cultural Christian, one who are by name only, if someone asks, they’ll say they are a Christian, they may go to church once in a blue moon on special occasions. The second line represents a Christian that gives a bit to church, as long as it doesn’t cost too much. They go to church more or less on a regular basis now. They might tithe, might help teach kids, might do something here and there, but they are more of a humanist Christian. I’ll give God what I have excess of, what I don’t want, what I don’t really need, so I can get on God’s good side. Craig also mentioned that most first line christians eventually cross the second line. But there’s a third line in the sand. It is the kind of Christianity that sees God is really everything you need, given everything to follow, regardless the cost. and to Craig, anything less than the actively crossing of the third line on a daily basis does not seem like true Christianity!

Because God saw you as someone worth dying for, we really should, nay, we NEED to see Him as someone worth living for.

To everyday proclaim that you will follow Him. To actively cross the third line on a daily basis; and when people tell you that you’ve worked hard enough, given up enough, say this to them in your best batman voice:

Not everything. Not yet. ~ Batman in Dark Knight Rises

Because you are, by definition, a superhero! 🙂

~John

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