What is a Hero? - The Warrior's Journey®
Selfless Service

What is a Hero?

Author: Brendon O'Dowd, USAF (Ret.)

190525-Z-GX612-1282. Photo by US Air Force is licensed under CC By 2.0

Our culture has redefined the word hero… 

The Full Picture

An International Security Assistance Force Special Operations Forces Airman provides security while a road maintenance team checkpoint is being built in Tagab, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2010. Afghan civilians, RMT members, ISAF SOF and Afghan National Police-Provincial Response Company members all helped to build the checkpoint. (ISAF photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Swafford)

…Perusing through social media will tell you our culture values those who are vulnerable and authentic.  We are told heroes bare their true feelings and are rewarded with thousands of “likes”.  While these qualities are important, warriors know being a hero requires so much more.

When I was little, I had a picture Bible that had amazing illustrations, especially of a hero named David.  His victory over Goliath is well known but there is much more going on than a young man defeating a seasoned enemy.  In 1 Samuel 17:31-58, we get a firsthand account of the skirmish, but more importantly we see David’s motive behind his heroic actions.

He had the courage to take on Goliath because Goliath mocked and cursed David’s God (verses 43 and 45).  It wasn’t about earning a medal or trying to be a hero.  Instead it was about David’s allegiance to God and honoring Him in front of the enemy so that “all the earth may know there is a God in Israel” (verse 46).  David wanted his actions to point to something greater than himself.  That’s the job of a hero.

Selfless Service

Pararescuemen from the 33rd Rescue Squadron salute the American flag after handing it off to a member of the Kadena Honor Guard during the Veterans Day ceremony at the 18th Wing Headquarters building on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, Nov. 12, 2012. During the ceremony, members from each branch of service on Okinawa came together to recognize the sacrifices made by all U.S. veterans, past and present. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Hailey R. Davis)

David was willing to sacrifice himself in a few battles, but there is an even greater hero who sacrificed Himself to win a much bigger war.  Jesus confronted and fought the greatest enemy, Satan, and his main weapon, death.  It cost Jesus His life, but He rose again as proof of His ultimate victory.

As warriors we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for our nation.  Jesus asks us to do it for Him and His mission.  He sets the example by coming not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).  He came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father who sent Him (John 6:38).  Jesus endured hostility and shame because He was living for a greater joy that had not yet been realized (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Are you willing to follow Jesus? That’s what being a hero is all about and it starts by saying yes to His call upon your life.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/5306887021/ (By US Air Force, Licensed under US Govt Work)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/8191055078/ (By US Air Force, Licensed under US Govt Work)

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