Markings of a Hero

(excerpt from Morning Meditations by Martin Wiles)
Proverbs 28:26 Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe. (NLT)

Rugged individualists. Heroes of the past. Conquerors of the Old West. Gunfighters. Prospectors. Daniel Boone blazers of new trails. Men who could till the land, trap and hunt, build a log cabin, and survive uninviting winters. Men who fought the British, French, Spanish and Indians to carve out a niche in land they wanted. Women who could plow a field, run a house, shoot a gun and look beautiful all at the same time.

Today heroes look different. Intellect often overpowers appearance. Programming computers, inventing new technology, and doing more in less time are some things that gauge heroism. They play sports and sit at desks. They zoom around on private jets instead of buckboards and blaze new trials but not with guns, knives and snorting stallions.

But regardless of the time frame, heroes know what they want and go after it. They would rather rely on their own strength and ingenuity than someone else’s. They can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. No help needed.

God’s heroes are different. They don’t usually come from the upper crust but the lower rung. He chooses things others deem foolish and selects people others pass over. Who would have thought a doctor, tax collector and a bunch of smelly fishermen could have influenced the world for God?

And the attitudes of God’s heroes are often opposite of what we look for in ours. Humility instead of pride and power. Dependence instead of independence. And a position of “I need God” instead if “I don’t need anyone.”

There was a time when I liked the rugged individual image. I could handle life without help from anyone else. I could start my own fires and plow my own fields. Leaning on God? That was like using a crutch. But a few major mishaps along the way and I discovered I wasn’t so self sufficient after all.

God’s heroes recognize their need for him and blaze a similar path for others to follow.

Prayer: Lord may we always remember Your heroes stand out in a crowd, not because of our physical strength and ingenuity but because of our faith and humility.
(photo courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at

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