My favorite cartoon as a kid growing up in the seventies was SUPER FRIENDS. Anyone remember that cartoon? The Hall of Justice? Superman? Aqua-Man? The Wonder Twins? Wonder Woman’s invisible jet that you could actually see? Wow.
Confession: I didn’t grow up and grow out of my obsession with superheroes. I am now a forty-six year old man who collects comic books, loves video games and binges on superheroes in movies and on netflix.
The truth is I actually don’t think any of us should grow out of our obsession with heroes. As grown ups, God wants us to have heroes in our lives, and not just the make-believe kind. We need heroes in our lives that we can look up to; leaders that inspire us and model what it looks like to overcome evil with good!
Who are your favorite heroes? Do you ever think about that?
Who inspires you? Who do you look up to? Who has abilities you want to learn or emulate? Who models overcoming evil with good for you?
Before you answer, let me give you some words of wisdom when it comes to selecting your heroes.
How To Pick Your Heroes
Select heroes slowly.
In both my ministry and professional consulting, I run across leaders who have picked the wrong heroes. Make sure you aren’t so enamored with your hero’s super abilities that you overlook their character, their heart, their motivations, their family life, their measure of success and significance. Character matters!
Be cautious of the shiny new super hero. Sometimes they are villains in disguise. As it turns out, sometimes they are are accomplishing Success at the expense of staying sane, centered, and married. Sometimes they are accomplishing the Great Commission at the expense of the Great Commission. Sometimes they are using people to build their kingdom. Sometimes they have unhealthy obsessions and addictions. Sometimes villains disguise themselves as heroes. Be discerning. Sooner or later they are always exposed. Be sure of one thing: In the long run, the cream rises to the top, so just wait...and watch. Stay tuned. Select heroes slowly!
Select a multitude of heroes.
The book of wisdom in the Bible, Proverbs tells us that “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed,” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV). This means that when it comes to seeking counsel, we should always talk with a number of different people, who might not even all agree, synthesize all their counsel, and then make the next decision under the Lord’s leadership.
Pick heroes from different walks of life and different streams of influence. I see leaders get so enamored with one tribe or group of people that they all look alike, sound alike, and all speak the same exact language. I have always chosen to surround myself with mentors, friends, and coaches who are different, and will offer me different perspectives. This ensures a more holistic, well rounded perspective on my life and leadership. Select a multitude of heroes!
Select one hero above all others.
Jesus should be our ultimate hero. Seek Him first. Seek first His Kingdom. He is our ultimate model, not someone else. He is the one we ultimately seek to emulate. He is a servant of all. He has never used people to get work done. He uses the word to get people done. He is full of compassion. He is full of grace and truth. He has always stewarded his platform in a healthy way. He alone is fully human and fully powerful. His counsel should matter more than anyone else’s. His counsel is always perfect! He is the author of our special abilities and can help us fan into the flame the power inside of us. Being noticed by him should matter more than recognition by any other hero. He alone will never let us down, He alone never fails! His love and His power never fails! Select one hero and set Him apart above all others!