Being a hero doesn’t require superpowers or a lead role in an action movie. Sometimes, it just means stepping up to do what needs to be done.
Let me be clear: there’s nothing wrong with giving some recognition to those who truly sacrifice to help others out. There are rescue workers, philanthropists, and all kinds of real heroes around us that deserve a little time in the spotlight, even when they do not seek it out. After all, in a world of mixed messages – to us and to our kids (if we have them) – it’s good to have some positive role models. So, we can celebrate those who are in the right place at the right time, and choose to do the right thing.
However, Jesus instructed us to not be blatant with our own good deeds (Matthew 6:1-4). So, it is appropriate to perform some self-evaluation, to see why we are choosing to do the right things – for recognition, or for righteousness’ sake. We may even want to have some discussions with others and God about it.
Let me offer this idea: maybe one way to help us guard against doing the right things for the wrong reasons (whether selfishness, trying to get credit, or just showing off) is to focus on doing a lot of little things for others.
When we look for all opportunities to do good (and not just the ones that are traditionally thought of as “heroic”), they start to show up all over the place. If we think that we’re not making a difference unless our life looks like the hero in a movie, countless opportunities to do good for others can pass us by, while we’re caught up in other things. Maybe the kids want to play while we’re watching a game on TV (mine do). Or, we just don’t feel like going to church. It could be that you have an opportunity to get out and participate in something, but it’s going to mean giving up some free time.
Those are the places where we can make the right choice, and make a difference to those whom we are serving, as well as others who are watching our behavior. You might not be invited to the talk-show circuit for being this kind of hero, but you’ll have a chance to set a good example for those around you, and to show them that you care about what is important to them.
In my house, being a hero sometimes looks like emptying the dishwasher, or just coming home from work on time. I admit that I’m not always “heroic” in this fashion, but I aspire to be. Be your own “hero of the everyday situation”, today.
This devotion originally appeared at fcccanton.com, as a Study Guide for the February 28, 2016 message, “Be Heroic”.