Who doesn’t love an action hero? I grew up a huge fan of Spider Man. When I was quite young, I even wanted to be Spider Man when I grew up. It really didn’t take too long to realize that probably was not going to be in the cards for me, given the shortage of radioactive spiders and such! Yet still, there remains a certain fascination with action heroes. We spend billions of dollars each year to watch movies and read books about these inspiring characters. We vicariously revel in the triumph of good over evil, and in seeing wrongs righted by the hero or the heroine. As we mature, most of us release the dream of becoming an action hero. I think this is a huge mistake. As followers of Jesus, we have the opportunity to be action heroes (or heroines) every day of our lives.
Jesus calls us to right the wrongs of society and to bring justice to those in need. Just as the Bible is full of stories of action heroes (think Noah, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul for starters), the world is still full of action heroes. Richard Stearns (president of World Vision), Bono, Tom White (President of the Voice of the Martyrs), Brad Phillips (President of Persecution Project) and many, many others are still doing the work of true religion: caring for the orphans and widows, breaking the chains of injustice, freeing the oppressed, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and caring for the poor. (James 1:27; Isaiah 58:6-7). Mother Theresa, William Wilberforce, Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. were all action heroes. They were heroic because they took action to share God’s love with the world and to call us all to a deeper walk with Jesus Christ.
To be an action hero, you must do more than simply talk a good game. We must embody the things we say; we must demonstrate our commitment to Jesus. No matter how good we are at communicating our message or encouraging others to follow Christ, what ultimately matters is if we perform the very actions that we talk about. Do we take action or merely talk about doing so? This is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. The extraordinary put action behind their words; they became action heroes because of their passion for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.
We must live up to the words we say. We must deliver on our commitment to following Jesus. Action heroes do not become so by providing only lip service. They are passionate about their beliefs and in bringing justice to the world. If you would be an action hero, practice the behaviors you espouse before opening your mouth. Become known for what you do and not what you say. Nothing is ever accomplished without action of some sort. Redemption is available to us because Christ performed the action of dying on the cross. In that same spirit, we must now take action to make that redemption known to everyone around us. The road to Hell is lined with good intentions and dreams, and with those who failed to act upon them.
When it’s all said and done, when are lives are over and we must give an account to our Creator for how we lived the life He entrusted to us, all that will ultimately matter will be the actions we took. Did we trust Him, did we love Him and did we share that love with others? Did we feed the hungry, care for the poor and come to the aid of the widows, the single moms, the orphans and the homeless? Did we care more for others than we did ourselves, and did our checkbooks reflect that concern? It’s not hard to be a hero for God. It’s simply a matter of taking action for His kingdom; it’s being the hands and feet of Jesus. Are you an action hero? You know you want to be, and now you know you can be. Be extraordinary for Jesus; put your faith into action. Become an action hero.