While driving home from work one day, I saw a sign in front of a business that was attempting to recruiting nurses for work. Across the top, it said, “Hero’s Work Here”. My initial reaction was to judge the sign designer (despite Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 7:1) for making the first word possessive, rather than plural. It was my natural inclination that this should have been written, “Heroes Work Here”.
However, as I thought about it, there was another valid interpretation of this pitch: one that would be grammatically correct. What if, instead of suggesting that their workplace was populated with heroes, this business was indicating that work for heroes could be found within? Perhaps the message was saying that “hero’s work” was available, for anyone willing and qualified to apply?1
In fact, there is a lot of work today that requires heroes to complete it. It also occurs to me that the walk of a Christian should involve a number of attributes that we would normally ascribe to heroes. For instance:
A hero is selfless. People generally don’t get labeled as heroes if they focus only on their own needs and interests. Sure, there are some fictitious “anti-heroes”, and other characters who are really serving themselves, but those who we find to be heroic in real life are typically dedicated to others, rather than themselves.
In fact, that is exactly the sort of behavior that Jesus demonstrated, and what His followers are commanded to emulate:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Philippians 2:3-4 NLT
A hero does good for others. Being unselfish is one thing, but when that doesn’t actually produce any benefit for anyone else (whether due to incompetence or apathy), we would probably not call someone heroic as a result. Heroes typically save people from disaster, whether great or small.
We certainly cannot save anyone’s souls. Our own lives – as well as those of others – must be redeemed through Jesus’ sacrificial gift, and we don’t earn enough “credit” for our good deeds in order to qualify as a savior to anyone else, at least in an eternal sense. However, we can show lost people the way to joy and fulfillment through Jesus Christ, even as we also serve their human needs of food, clothing, shelter, and relationships.
Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be unproductive.
Titus 3:14 NLT
(See also Romans 1:16-17 and Romans 10:13-14.)
A hero (at least, a superhero) does what normal human beings cannot. Who wouldn’t want to be able to lift a car off of someone who was trapped, or put out a fire with freeze breath?
These superpowers may be the work of fiction, but those who have accepted Jesus and received a spiritual gift in the Holy Spirit can do things that simply aren’t normal for others (even those who have been given different gifts). On top of that, following God’s will gives us access to the power of God Himself, to bring that power to bear on God-sized problems.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
John 14:12-14 NLT
So, if you are feeling unfulfilled or purposeless, check in with Jesus, and see what He has in store for you. Like Jesus’ instructions to some of His disciples in Luke 10:2, there is plenty of heroes’ work, here.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
- I would consider most of those in the medical profession (among others) to indeed be heroes. What they do at their job – often at their own risk – for the benefit of others in society is worthy of that designation. ↩