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Who are your heroes?

I’ve got a few heroes whose lives I struggle to emulate. Rich Mullins was one (more on him in tomorrow’s blog). I wish I had more.  What about you – who are your heroes?     Perhaps we need to begin by asking the question, “What constitutes a hero?”   For starters, a hero …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
I’ve got a few heroes whose lives I struggle to emulate. Rich Mullins was one (more on him in tomorrow’s blog). I wish I had more.  What about you – who are your heroes?  
Perhaps we need to begin by asking the question, “What constitutes a hero?”
For starters, a hero sacrifices his own needs in order to attain a greater good. He or she sets aside personal agendas to help others who are struggling.  Jesus was a hero in the way he lived. He was constantly healing people, meeting their needs and bringing them hope. And, of course, he was a hero in the way he died. He set the original example of self-sacrifice.
The church was built on the back of its heroes. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs recounts their stories. They were burned, dismembered, and crucified for a faith they held dear. When you look at the current cultural landscape, you have to ask, “Where are today’s heroes?” How many of us would be wiling to die for our faith like that? And if we’d die for our faith, why are so few of us really living sold out for it?
The pages of People Magazine are filled with stories that fail to inspire. So many examples of celebrities basking in the glow of their own success, but few heroes. Sports Illustrated trumpets the exploits of over-paid steroid-poppers. And Rolling Stone gives us monthly reminders of why a career in music or film is fraught with perils.
Heroes are important because we become like the people we look up to. More than 20 million people play Fantasy Football. So many of us Christians know more about the lives of a bunch of football players whose average tenure in the pros is several years than they do about the heroes of the faith. Or we follow the lives of stars like Brad and Angelina – we revel in their triumphs and their missteps. And as we do so, that becomes the bar we set for our own character and aspirations.
We need to study and emulate the lives of true modern heroes. Here are a few of mine:
Heidi & Rolland Baker – sacrificing everything to bring hope to the poor of Mozambique.
Brother Yun – suffering extreme persecution in China for his faith.
Bruce Olson – bringing Christ to the Motilone Indians without westernizing them.
Mother Teresa – serving the poor of Calcutta in Jesus’ name.
They show us the poverty of our spiritual imagination and set the bar high for what a modern hero can be and accomplish. Who are yours?

Comments (10)

  • i have many heros jim elliot and his fellow workers.our service men and women. addicts that have overcome and some that havent seen there way out yet.a kind old black man named sam that let me stay in his home when i was a 15 year old runaway in new orleans that was so kind. people that do the small things in life that never get reconized that help the heros that do.people that take care of others that cant help themselves.young parents,grand parents that take care of their grand kids for any reason.the outcast that are still trying .cause everyone is not born on the same level ground. people that keep trying even when they keep messing up.so many of course david , moses, PETER,JESUS, the HOLY SPIRIT, sure like the guy that wrote the shack.missonaries you never hear about.the homeless that want to be there. they to have a work to do.

  • st. mark of the Cross

    First to my mind is Corrie Ten Boon, then in actuality it is my wife Debbie – she expresses Jesus so super-naturally…I always see my lack when she just “be” who Jesus made her – she serves all creation. I know it may be strange, but Debbie is my hero in Christ for her servant’s heart.

  • Let me add Martin and Gracia Burnham to the list. I can only imagine what it’s like to be kidnapped and held for ransom for a year, and see you husband shot three times in the chest. But to remain faithful to the lord through it all.

  • My heroes are two people called Charlie and Anita Cleverly. He did his curacies at our church when he first was ordained and finally became vicar, before leaving to build a church in Paris, now back in the UK as Rector of St Aldate’s in Oxford.

    Why them? They love. They inspire. They pour themselves out. They make mistakes. They carry on.

    Charlie can’t sing for toffee but when he leads worship you can’t help but join him and go wherever he goes and it is almost always a deep and intimate place before God. Give them a soul that doesn’t yet know Christ and they will pour themselves into them, loving them with the gospel. They passionately love Jesus Christ and it pervades all of their teaching, praying and conversation. They nurture and inspire with their teaching and they call you to the deep places. To be with them is to yearn for those deep places and to want to put everything aside to reach them too.

    Sometimes they over-give and get the balance wrong. There’s a fine line between being poured out and being burned out. They are human. They make mistakes and that’s a particular one for them. But they have inspired me since I was 18 years old and although I rarely see them these days, they still do. Failure isn’t falling down, it’s staying down. And these guys always get up and carry on because they just keep on loving Jesus and following Him.

  • Corrie Ten Boom. Not only during WWII, but before and after, she gave her life loving people joyfully. She was faithful with the gospel and believing in its power to save. She was also honest, humble, transparent. She seemingly flowed in all the “five fold gifts” without awareness or seeking a title.

    My second one is Apostle Paul. Where are the apostles today that loved like he did? He intensely loved the Church and paid any price for Christ to be glorified through her.

  • I only have one Hero. I wrote this poem about 4 years ago. Im sure you will beable to guess who my hero is from this:

    ” I spend my days walking through angel’s wings
    And when I sleep, they cover me.
    My life exists of unseen things
    Walking hand in hand with reality
    What my eye doesnt see
    His spirit reveals
    What my heart holds true
    Brings me to my knees

    At first light when I awake, not quite stirred
    My love, my Lord whispers thoughts
    That leads me through my day
    He always lights the way
    And when night time comes
    Wearied and bruised
    A price to pay when I walk in this world
    I shut the door
    Alone at last
    My comforter brings healing to my soul
    Refreshing and loving arms enfold
    No one understands why
    The phones left ringing
    The door never opened
    They dont understand the company I keep
    As I sit for hours
    At my Master’s feet
    The conversation is electric
    I never want to leave
    Every word is precious
    His touch unique
    We laugh and smile
    And talk about life
    But His love
    Still cuts like a knife
    It doesnt matter that it makes me weep
    Because He always kisses the tears
    From my cheek
    So if you ever meet Christians
    Who do the weirdest things
    They could be like me
    Walking through angel’s wings”

    Anybody quessed who my Hero is? 🙂

  • My heros, well first two would be my older two children who are adults,both married, sold out lovers of Jesus. Then I would say lesley-Anne Leighton, she has been poured out as an offering unto Jesus She lives her life for Jesus, her life is not her own. I want to be like her when I grow up. Bill Hybels. I found Jesus because of Bill and his faithfulness to his calling. The children at the UJV in Ugandan, who despite their situation in life, they live with the joy of the Lord, and hope for the future. just a few.

  • I met two of my new heroes when I was in Swaziland in February: Jumbo and Kriek Gerber. Anyone who knows them will understand!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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