Sunday, July 16, 2017

Is Your Superhero a Leader Worth Following?

The first night back here in Austin, Bryson wanted me to take him to see the new “Spider-Man: Homecoming” Movie. He had already seen it once – once wasn’t enough (in this photo, you can see he’s loved Spider-Man for years). He wanted to see it again, so that was our Thursday “date night” fun. Of course Spider-Man had his webs and incredible acrobatic abilities. But the reality check is that Spider-Man is just a 15-year old kid who lacks grace – is clumsy and even stumbles around when he first puts on his suit. He eventually gets the suit on and once he does, he’s got the powers that go along with it, but those powers, if not used with the right attitude, motivation and precision, can certainly cause plans to go awry.

Not to be a movie spoiler, but one of my favorite scenes was just after the young Peter Parker (Spider Man) who has the utmost desire to be a part of The Avengers squad and passionately wanted to prove himself, but had some major foiled heroic feats. It was then that Tony Stark (Iron Man of The Avengers team) asked for Peter’s Spider Man suit back. Here’s the script from that scene:

Peter (Spiderman): “I was just trying to be like you.” |
Tony Stark (Iron Man): “I wanted you to be better. I'm going to need the suit back.”
Peter: “But I'm nothing without this suit.”
Tony: “If you're nothing without this suit, then you shouldn't have it.”

That resonated with me. I started thinking about what we think makes us a great leader: position, acclaim, the way we dress and look, notoriety, ego, status, financial means, etc. We think that we, too, are nothing without all of those identifiers. But all of that isn’t leadership. We’ve seen some of the greatest world leaders, religious and political leaders, Hollywood actors and musicians – fall because of all those reasons and because they didn’t have the marks to sustain credible leadership qualities.

A leader worth following is one that is trustworthy, honest, kind, considerate, loving, speaks optimism and gratitude. He/She is a role model that we’d sure like to be like. They carry a “presence” about themselves that speaks confidence in their own abilities, yet are encouraging and are quick to build others up. They seem to see the good in just about everything, and we never hear them complaining or criticizing others. Their heart is what we see first – NOT, their ego.

I’d like to say that I know a lot of people who are just like that, but honestly, as long as we are on this side of heaven, I don’t think, realistically, we’ll find anyone who fits that bill entirely – not even Iron Man, Spider-Man OR Superman or anyone else who is earth-bound!

When we put on our “Jesus Christ Suit” (sounds like I’m comparing him to Spider Man – I’m not! -- “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:14), THEN, and only then, do we have the ability to be super-heroes to our friends, family and peers.

When we clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ AND put on our whole armor of God (See Ephesians 6:10-18), we can operate with a kingdom set of rules that have the power, when used correctly, to transform our ordinary life into an extraordinary one. That means way more than being one of Marvel’s super-heroes, it means being an everyday hero who aligns himself and herself under the leadership and authority of Jesus Christ to positively influence and impact everything and everyone within our sphere of influence. Come on. Let’s go dress up for our kingdom assignments and be a super hero to someone today!