Hero of the Story
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Hebrews 10:39
As my wife and I were watching an action movie last night, I contemplated the hero. Though few others were on his side, he did what he thought was right, no matter the cost. I found that I admired him. Though deeply flawed, I wanted to be like him. No, I don’t want to shoot bad guys, but I want to believe that I’d act nobly when put to the test. Most of us would like to think that when our big life trials come, that we’ll boldly do what’s right, no matter what.
As a fifth or sixth grader, I did something heroic once – even if for the wrong reasons. We had some smalltown function at the local gym, where we gathered for a meal. I was eating at the bottom of the bleachers when some kids knocked over the scoring table, precariously perched at the top of the bleachers. It fell forward, accelerating down the bleachers towards me and my friends. They scattered as I turned, put my hands out, and abruptly stopped the box-like structure. Those who witnessed it thought I was protecting my friends and saw me as heroic. It felt good to be the hero and I didn’t want to spoil the moment by telling them I was simply protecting my plate of polish sausages and baked beans.
This has been a life problem for me. Though I want to act nobly and heroically, I’m usually just motivated by my own appetite – which is rarely noble or heroic. In today’s passage, the author of Hebrews described truly noble behavior. He said that when it comes to our faith, we must boldly live out that which we claim to believe. To shrink back is to fail to live by faith, embracing cowardice, which results in our self-destruction. True faith means believing in God, and then following with our behavior. It is only in boldly following God that we are saved.
Our problem is that we often live in a manner that is completely contrary to what we claim to believe. Yes, we believe we should abandon our way for God’s, yet when it comes down to our daily decisions, we simply follow our own nature. This is the opposite of faith. Following our way is the easiest path, but this is cowardice. The right thing is rarely the easy thing. If we want to live nobly, we must daily abandon our way for God’s, living out that which we claim to believe. Only in doing so, will we boldly claim the lives for which we were created.