Believing in Unlikely Heroes

One of the most powerful and loving things you can do for someone is believe in them.

As disciples of Jesus we are commanded to see people through the lens of love and possibility in their life. Jesus modelled this for us when he put together his band of disciples. We tend to think of the disciples as a group of superhero Christians and they obviously lived unique lives that changed the course of history. But, they did not start that way.  They were average, everyday working class people.  On the surface, they did not really standout as future “superheroes”.  Even after Jesus spent 3 years with them they had plenty of less than hero-like moments.

In the book Master Plan of Evangelism, Robert Coleman says it like this, “One might wonder how Jesus would ever use them.  They were impulsive, temperamental, easily offended, and had all the prejudices of their environment…Not the kind of group one would expect to win the world for Christ. Yet Jesus saw in these simple men the potential of leadership for the Kingdom.”

Jesus looked past all of the things that could cause others to write them off and saw possibility. By seeing their potential, inviting them into a relationship, and sticking it out until the end, their lives and the world was changed.

We see this again in the life of Saul (Paul). It is kind of ironic because the very men who were believed in by Jesus could not see the possibility in Saul.  It is understandable.  Saul did not have the best reputation among the disciples.

When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.” – Acts 9:26-27

Barnabas did for Saul what no one else was willing to do.  He believed in him.

Our culture tends write too many people off too quickly.  We look for the person with the proven track record of success.  We look for the magnetic personality.  We keep our eyes out for the influencer of influencers. We look for natural born leaders. We look for low risk people.  We look for people we can launch into leadership immediately and be confident they will lead with greatness. 

When we limit ourselves to looking through those lenses we end up overlooking people that God wants to use.

I know this from my own life. One of the most powerful things that has ever happened to me was being believed in when I had no track record of greatness or success as a disciple of Jesus. I was and still am a knucklehead…but I was believed in.  I was invested in.  I was loved.

For the kingdom to grow in the way that Jesus grew the Kingdom, we need to believe in and commit to the unlikely heroes. 

Belief in another person can give them:

Hope beyond what they are able to see themselves.

Purpose that they are struggling to find.

Strength to keep going when things are hard.

Faith that God is working in them and for them.

Courage to take steps of faith.

Belonging because the realize they are not alone.

Beginning Praying Today:

  • God open my eyes to see people through love and possibility.  
  • Help me believe in those that would be easy to dismiss. 
  • Help me follow the example you set.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s