In my last two posts on this subject, I have talked about the definition of a hero, focusing on the last two definitions given by Webster’s dictionary:

a: A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.

b: an illustrious warrior

c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities

d: one that shows great courage.

You’ll notice that I left the first two for last. The reason for this is that I feel the last two definitions are the truest definitions. Often, the greatest heroes are overlooked because they weren’t seen doing whatever they did by the right person, or because their achievements only affected a few. Does the number of people affected make someone more of less of a hero? I rarely hear Jesus referred to as a hero, but that is what he is. Here is a man who sacrificed His life in order that all of us could join Him in Heaven. No one else can say they have done this, but He isn’t often called a hero.

Lets look at these first definitions again.

A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability. To a non-believer, this describes Jesus pretty well, but none of us could ever fit the role, as we aren’t sons of God… wait a second. Jesus told us that we are His brothers. In Mark 3:34b-35, Jesus proclaims “Here  are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God ismy brother and sister and mother.” As brothers of Jesus and with God as our Father, it seems to me that we are able to fill this definition, especially as we have been given great gifts through the Holy Spirit(1 Cor 12). But we can set this definition aside as one of fancy if we wish, since it is meant to refer to those such as Hercules, the son of Zeus.

So we’ll move on to the second definition: an illustrious warrior. Having served in combat, let me be the first to say, these men who do amazing things above and beyond the call are heroes, but many who aren’t ever put in this position are as well. I once had a Sergeant tell me that the difference between a guy who got a medal and a guy who didn’t was most often rank and the amount of mud on the boots. By this he was implying that the guys with the least mud on their boots often had the most medals. And I have to say that I saw that. I saw guys denied medals for being too low rank while I saw guys get medals for being upper NCO’s or officers, though they never saw a shot fired (saw one get a valor device on his without ever having entered the combat zone).

Does the medal on your chest or the number of times you’ve deployed make you a hero? Does the fame you carry as a warrior make you a hero? What is illustrious, anyway? These aren’t the things that make you a hero. You are a hero if you show courage and have strong and good character. I said it at the beginning of this series, but now I will ask it: Hardcore Christianity, is it a Forge of Heroes? Shouldn’t it be?

I say yes it should. Christians are charged to follow Jesus Christ, not a boy who was selfish and had no character. Jesus is a strong man of great character and great courage. What kind of courage did it take to overturn the moneychangers tables and release the animals in the temple? What kind of courage did it take to die on a cross for others? What kind of character did he teach us in his many parables and sermons. Why don’t we follow this? There are many different kinds of Christian men, but the cultural expectation is the soft sensitive man. Lets stop being that man and show the strength of God’s word in our actions, character and words.

I challenge you to stand up and be the man that God has forged you to be.

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, follow the links below:

Hardcore Christianity: A Forge of Heroes

Hardcore Christianity: A Forge of Heroes(Pt 2)

Comments
  1. Men Rising says:

    Time to overturn some tables in our churches I’d think. There seems to be too much waiting to see what someone else is going to do. I like the bold kind of courage of conviction that allows for decisive action. Takes a high comfort level with the truth, and a willingness to act on that truth.

    • Paul S says:

      J, I fully understand and agree. One of the big problems many churches face is how to end non-fruitful ministry. What I see is that we must apply our resources to that which brings people to the kingdom, not the things that make people happy or are “nice.” Doing the right thing is not always “nice”, but it is always necessary. Let’s get out of this soft, sensitive, “walk all over me” attitude and care for people like Jesus did. Be courageous. We will suffer persecution and opposition, but only through Him will we triumph.

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