The 1 Step to Becoming an Everyday Superhero
Who was your favorite superhero growing up? Mine was Daredevil (coolest name ever, I wish it would have stuck as my nickname). Most people have never heard of him, except for those who saw the unfortunate Ben Affleck movie… moving on.
I loved Daredevil because he was a normal kid until he got doused with radioactive waste right in his eyes which left him blind. But he grew up and overcame his blindness by sharpening his other senses to the point where he was an enhanced and skilled fighter, all while passing the New York City bar exam for lawyers. Skilled.
I loved the made up stories about him because he overcame awful situations, and found something redeemable in even the worse places and people.
Deep down I think we all want to be a super hero. We all want to make a difference and matter. Especially in my youthful generation, we all want to change the world. But for some reason we begin giving up on that vision when real life begins. We get our first dose of reality and we start picking jobs based on benefits rather than how we can use it to help others (even at McDonalds). We settle with many things, but one of the worst things we settle with is hate. We allow ourselves to hate those who screw us over.
Most people have heard some of Jesus’ words about how to deal with enemies. He suggests turning the other cheek if they slap you, giving them your coat if they steal your scarf, and probably the best example is that back in Jesus’ time (the absolute enemy) The Roman soldiers could throw their bags to any Jew and by law they had to carry that bag a mile for the soldier but Jesus encouraged his listeners to carry it an extra mile (even though in reality you are not just walking 2 miles but 4 miles if you include the return journey to where you started).
Some people have looked at Jesus’ words and saw them as being weak or wimpy. But they aren’t. What He was really getting at is that you are incapable of stopping getting slapped in the face, having your scarf stolen, or being forced to be a pack mule for a mile for the enemy. But to allow your enemy to slap you on the other cheek, to give up your coat as well, or to voluntarily walk an additional mile is exercising true freedom. Because the truth is, we cannot stop the crap that other people pull on us. Sure, we can get revenge or even justice and beat them down or have someone else pull the bully beat down. But Jesus’ operates on real strength, and He wants you to do the same!
He summarized it like this, “If you want to be extraordinary- love your enemies! Do good without restraint! Lend with abandon! Don’t expect anything in return! Then you’ll receive the truly great reward- you will be children of the Most High- for God is kind to the ungrateful and those who are wicked” (Luke 6:35 The Voice).
How have people used or abused you? Who is your enemy? You probably have a right to be ticked. I have a friend who has been abused, and I would like nothing better then to see the abuser feel the pain that he has brought my friend, but that is not Jesus, it is not extraordinary.
If you want to be extraordinary. If you want to be a world changer, a super hero, you have to start with forgiveness. When you forgive others you release yourself from the bondage of hatred and anger. You are not just freeing the other person, you are freeing yourself.
And when you love your enemies you are not being weak, you are exercising true freedom. You are letting them and the world know that you are not defined by abuse, by rape, by manipulation, by bullying. You are defined by love, by Jesus, by freedom.
So love the worst enemies, not because they deserve it, but because they don’t, and experience true freedom.