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Playing the Hero: Becoming a Godly Man

Rite of PassageThere is something deep in the hearts of all men that draws them to dream about playing the hero. We all want to swoop in and save the day. We all want to be the one. The one that remains calm and knows just what to do when everyone and everything else is chaotic. Even as a child in elementary school, I used to daydream about our bus ride to school coming under attack or the driver somehow going unconscious. And while all havoc breaks out, I stay calm and collected while single-handedly saving the day (in these daydreams all the girls also took notice of my heroics).

Maybe these heroic daydreams that most men have at some point or another are the result of pulsing testosterone, a man’s need to be seen as strong, or possibly the desire to take the spotlight. But sometimes the hero isn’t flashy or spotlight stealing at all. As a matter of fact, the only guy that ever truly saved the world flew under the radar for the majority of His life. He was born in what amounts to little less than a barn. He spent His formative years slinging a hammer as a common carpenter. In all accounts, He was simply unremarkable.

When the time came for Him to set out on His own and fulfill the purpose of His Father, He did so in a very un-cinematic way. He didn’t play the action hero role. There were no guns blazing or beautiful love interest that needed saving. He never met some old-man-oracle that taught Him the ways of a true warrior or mentored Him in how to use His super powers.

Instead, Jesus chose to take on the role of servant-hero. The way Jesus saved the world was by loving those no one else would in ways that no one else could. This may sound simple enough, but give it a try and you will soon see that it is not nearly as easy as it sounds. But when it is done correctly, this kind of love changes people. It is truly heroic.

So maybe the reason all guys dream about playing the hero is because we were all created with intentions of being like Jesus, the truest hero, and we still bear his image (Genesis 1:27, John 1:1–3). But we are also all works in progress. We are all still learning to play the role of hero, and to do so effectively we must all look toward The Hero on how to play the part.

* To learn more about Eric Ballard‘s book, Rite of Passage, click here.

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