Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Making Of Heroes

Within humanity's seven billion people there are thousands, if not millions, of character traits and personality differences. Each person is uniquely created, uniquely exposed to a varity of environments, and affected in inumerable ways to become who they allow themselves to be. Among the personality traits which develope or predominate in people are that of the parasite, the fanatic, the helpless, the unconcerned, the victim and the hero. There are many others, of course. Within the parasitic types are egomaniacs, con-artists, sluggards, deadbeats, addicts, thieves and moochers. All of us have been victimized at one time or another, but some people constantly see themselves as victims. Others, not physically or mentally handicapped, yet feel unable to deal with the trials, reversals and challenges of life. Fanatics and narcissists often wind up in leadership positions because the majority of people are followers looking for a cause and a leader.  All of the above characteristics, except the hero, cause or contribute to the flood of victims lying bloody and bruised along the "broad way" of life. In this global communicating, international traveling, high tech world, the opportunities for credit card fraud, robbery, and ID theift are rampant.

The one human characteristic in shortest supply is that of the hero, 
the self sacrificing, responsible, caring and ready to rescue type person. Those people who step up to injustice and cruel abuse and punch it in the nose. Then, like the good Samaritan, lift up the true victims, care for them and pay the price. There, in such a scene you have the most likely source of new heroes ... the man, woman or child that was robbed, beaten, abused and left helpless ... but delivered by the heroic act of another person. There, in that victim, is a potential new hero. Little children rescued by a policeman or fireman or college student or passing citizen, are very likely, themselves, to one day be the hero.

The only way you can improve on the story of the good Samaritan is, as Jesus intended, a Christian good Samaritan.

"And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee." Luke 10:30-25.
In this account, the victim was not a hero simply because he was wounded, the priest was not a hero just because he was a priest, the Levite was not a hero simply because he was religious and the innkeeper was not a hero either. He was a business man who charged the Samaritan room and board to let the wounded man recuperate in his inn. The only hero here is the good Samaritan who was a half-breed Jew and despised by the blue blood Jews. But, if the rescued man, who owed his life to the Samaritan, had any appreciation for this loving, generous Samaritan and any thankfulness to God, he is the most likely candidate in the story to become a hero. We know nothing of him beyond what is recorded, but it is almost certain that he was a changed man, and more loving and generous himself, for the rest of his life, and probably, himself, became a hero. "Iron sharpeneth iron" Prov.27:17.... and heroes make heroes.
Spiritual conversion is by God's grace through faith, but in almost every case of the conversion of a soul, God uses Christians to go to the person, witness to the person, pray with the person, and lead that person to Christ. Christians, by God's word and His Holy Spirit, make Christians. Be a hero ... Be a Christian. Care for the dying; rescue the perishing. God wants you to be a hero ... the world needs you and you need an outlet for your faith.