We all have our heroes.
Our heroes are the people who have shaped us, made us, saved us, and rescued us. They are the women and men who have overcome the odds, achieved their dreams, and done big things. They are our examples, our idols, and the people we strive to be like.
For some of us, it’s always been mom or dad. We’ve seen the challenges they’ve tackled, we’ve benefited from their generosity, and we’ve watched as they served and sacrificed for us. For some of us, our heroes are the historical kind: MLK, Mother Theresa, Abraham Lincoln, or Nelson Mandela. Others of us prefer our heroes to be athletes: Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, or Wayne Gretzky. Comic books and cartoons have given the rest of us our heroes: we look to Spider-Man, Wonder Woman or, The Hulk.
We all have our heroes.
While we have plenty to choose from, it also seems to me that true heroes are in short supply. The reason we cling so tightly to our favorite heroes is because you just don’t bump into them everywhere you walk. They are few and far between.
But, God reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 that what we need is NOT more heroes. God does not need His people out there trying to save the world. He doesn’t need any more super-human saviors. He’s got that covered. God doesn’t need any more heroes. What He needs is a lot more saints.
You see, God has sent a hero into this world: Jesus, of course. The one who lived the life we could not live. The one who died the death we couldn’t die. The one who made the greatest sacrifice this world has ever known, who defeated our greatest enemy, and who even overcame death itself. And, God has promised that our hero will come back one day. That a return is on the horizon. And when that happens, Jesus will restore and renew all things for all time. Sin, hurt, pain, and suffering will be no more!
We don’t need any more heroes. What this world needs is a lot more saints. This world needs more men and women, young and old, black and white to go about the humble, normal (sometimes, even boring), every-day business of being a Christian. Paul puts it this way in 1 Thessalonians 4:10b-12, “But we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do this even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone”.
Now, that might not sound like the work of a hero – but, it is the work of a saint. God has already done His heroic work in living, dying, and rising again for you. He has called you by name, forgiven you, washed you, and filled you with His Spirit. You are His saint – because that’s who He made you to be. And now, He tells us, we are supposed to live like it. We are called to live out our identities and to be who we are.
That’s what this world needs. More saints. More people who live quiet lives, who mind their own business, who do the work God has put before them, and who behave properly as a witness to outsiders. God’s got the whole hero thing down. Let’s let Him be our hero. And instead, let’s live the lives He’s called us to as His saints.