Almost every good story features a hero that overcomes a challenge. Sometimes this hero discovers that he or she is the “chosen one,” like Neo in The Matrix, Katniss in The Hunger Games, Diana as Wonder Woman, Frodo, or Harry Potter. Each became a hero of their own story.
In leadership I often feel subtle pressure to be “the hero.” I’m tempted to feel I need to solve every problem. Have all the answers. Be perfectly prepared for every meeting or circumstance. Always say the right word. Answer every email. Ensure our team hits every faith goal. Save the day.
Do you feel the pressure to be the hero? If (and when) you do, I have really good news for you. You don’t have to be the hero. There is only one true hero. The apostle Paul emphasized this truth when he wrote to people in Colossae who struggled with worldly standards to be right and righteous – to be their own heroes. Paul, who by our standards could be considered a hero in his own right, explained how powerful and great and amazing Jesus is:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.Colossians 1:15-20
Paul then compels us not to become “our best selves,” but to journey in faith with the one true hero: “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6).
The pressure is off. My heart is at rest. As simply as I received him — by faith — I take the next step in Him. This is gospel personalization, to be known by and moving with the one true Hero of God’s larger story.