1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal
To the elite men in our world…the celebrities, political figures, sports stars…
Our fathers, husbands, and sons watch you, admire you, and ultimately, emulate you. You ARE a role model. You may not have specifically asked for the honor, and you may not even like it—but, nevertheless, you hold that title. To millions, you are considered a hero.
Sure, it may be your acting chops, diplomacy, athletic ability—or any number of other talents—that earned you notoriety; however, those are not the only traits that attract notice. How you actually LIVE, not just perform, matters…And, though you may be able to compartmentalize your life, those who look up to you cannot.
If you’ll notice, the definition of “hero” did not separate “distinguished ability” from “noble qualities” with an “or”…They are not mutually exclusive. Heroes display both.
The burden of “hero” may be unappealing to you, but you’ve been given quite a bit to help cushion the inconvenience. You have been blessed. Yes, I am aware that you’ve also put in a lot of work and perseverance—big success always involves big effort (unless, of course, you’re Paris Hilton)—but, you are also gifted…with God-given abilities, opportunities, support, money, experiences. And remember what Peter Parker (aka, Spiderman) said? "With great power comes great responsibility"… Though, I’m pretty sure he should’ve footnoted Luke Chapter 12 from the Bible, in which Jesus states, “To whom much is given, much will be required in return.”
So, to my challenge…I challenge you “heroes” to honor the gifts you’ve been given, the faith afforded you, the admiration aimed your direction. I challenge you to discipline yourself as much in your relationships as you do in your performance. I challenge you to be as well-known for your honesty, faithfulness, and kindness as you are for your awards, position, or score. I challenge you to show us what it looks like to be a trust-worthy, honorable, loving man—not just what it looks like to make $15 million a film, or win The Master’s at 21. I challenge you to focus your “noble qualities” in a more intimate direction than just humanitarian trips and charity checks. I challenge you to remember that, at every moment, there are eyes of all ages watching you—ready to admire and emulate what they see…so, finally, I challenge you to be a HERO.