Monday, December 1, 2014

With great power comes great responsibility

Hero - Spiderman, Superman, Thor, The Wolverine. What do all these individuals have that catches our imaginations and draws our attention to them? What makes them heroes? 

Villains - Dr. Octopus, Lex Luther, Loki, Magneto. All of these individuals are associated with negativity, evil, destruction, and death; and yet they are not so different from the heroes we like and idolize. They have super powers and extraordinary abilities. Some by natural birth and some by chance which is no different from the heroes we love. Indeed in some situations they are even raised in the same household by the same parents; such as Thor and Loki. What is the one single thing that makes one good and one bad, one a hero and one a villain? Whether they put themselves before others or others before themselves. 
Heroes are selfless. Using their strength and abilities, their intelligence, and power for others before themselves. Putting the needs of others before their own need. Villains are selfish. Using their strength, power, money, and everything at there disposal to serve their needs, their wants, and their desires. One is not stronger than the other. One is not more powerful than the other. One does not have more resources than the other. Simply that the hero chooses to sacrifice himself for others, and the villain chooses to sacrifice others for himself. And even as it is played out in the comic books and movies, It often seems unfair for the hero that he has to follow the rules, do what is right, and continually try to save the innocent. Even at the expense of the hero’s loved ones, assets, or personal wellbeing. While the villain can break all of the rules and use whatever means necessary to get to the desired end. Even if it means the lives of the innocent, because what really matters is the happiness, desires and wants of the villain. It is this simple thing that separates the two.
Now the time comes to ask ourselves “What are you? A hero or a villain? How do you use the gifts and talents that God has given you? Do you use them for the good of others or for the good of yourself?” 

So often we think as Christians that if we have talents, great abilities, or wealth that God has blessed us with that for our own use. We live a life of luxury, of fullness, If we have an abundance of food we are fat and happy, if we have wealth we are able to have anything. If we have a great home it for our own enjoyment and use. But then how is this any different from the villain who uses their gifts, resources, and talents to seek their own happiness.  Although to us they seem evil we assume they can’t be happy. They are only viewed as evil because they are self-serving. Then so are we villainous if we are self-serving. 

On the other hand if you are using your gifts and talents for God your life to the outside world may seem foolish as a life of a hero seems foolish to a villain. If a person has great wealth but chooses to live in a tiny house, drive a rusty car, and spend your vacation time to serve others; you then would be a hero in the eyes of God. If you have an abundance of food but yet you look scrawny and ill and spend all of your time feeding the poor; you would be a hero in they eyes of God. If you have been blessed with a large house and abundant lands but your house looks more like a hotel than a mansion because you welcome the homeless, impoverished, and those who are down on their luck; you would be a hero in the eyes of God. If you have an abundance of time and your friends think you foolish because you spend all of your time volunteering at nursing homes, food pantries, homeless shelters, and marching in front of abortion clinics; you too would be a hero in the eyes of God. 

It is not hard for one to see that my hero, Jesus, is the first Hero, the first X-men, and the first Avenger. "Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped." Philippians 2:6. See Jesus being fully God and fully man though in the person of a man had all of the power of God and instead of conquering the Roman Empire, taking over the world, inventing everything we would need in life, and giving the world great gifts of technology and medicine He used it to heal the sick, feed the hungry, free the oppressed, and guide us to His Father in Heaven. And then when He went about His passion, crucifixion, and death although He had the power to stop it at any point He chose not to. Instead He was beaten, scourged, crucified, and mocked. He was called a fool. What the villains of his day did not know is that through His sacrifice He would arise more powerful than ever and conquer death, opening the gates of Heaven for all who would follow Him. 

See a fool is one who wastes great power for no reason. A hero is one who sacrifices great power for the greater good of others. So I ask you again - “What are you, a hero or a villain?”


  1. Great reflection. Wow, never quite thought of the selfless way Jesus used his "hero powers" like that. Love this distinction of a true hero: "Whether they put themselves before others or others before themselves."