You're Not the Hero of Your Story
I'm not the hero of my own story. You're not the hero of yours. How do I know that? Because we fail to live up to heroic standards all the time. We’re selfish and self-absorbed. Our words and deeds are not always for the good of others. Thankfully, that's a good thing.
In Scott Saul's book From Weakness to Strength, he says, "Jesus came for sinners, not heroes. Perhaps the recognition that we are not heroes can be an occasion--maybe the first one in quite some time--to fall into his healing arms." Being the hero means there’s no one to save us from ourselves.
Identifying ourselves as heroes instead of sinners keeps us trapped in our weakness. Self-help is more accurately self-sabotage. It isn't until we honestly identify ourselves as sinners that we allow God's healing to free us from our past and His strength to sustain us in the present.
I admit I’d still like to be the hero most of the time. I prefer self-sufficiency to surrender. I want to have it all together, all by myself. I don’t need help. I’ve got this. The primary flaw in this position is that when I inevitably realize I don’t have it all together all the time, the floor falls out from under me and I become trapped in despair.
When I’m the hero, I have no hope.
When I live only by my own knowledge and experiences, there is not much hope that things will get better. I can only know what I know and do what I know how to do. The more we do what we know, the more we know that we can’t really do anything.
Commonly, we hear this definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We expect that trying harder will form us into the hero we want to be, but we’re still the same people doing the same things we know how to do.
“Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense, it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.” - C.S. Lewis
When I’m the sinner, all I have is hope.
What can you do when you can't do anything?
“To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?” - C.S. Lewis
When we identify ourselves as sinners in need of saving, we begin to recognize that Jesus is the hero of the story. What a freeing belief! Since we cannot save ourselves, we must let go of control and hand ourselves over to the One who has all control.
"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" - Isaiah 55:8-9
We have a God whose ways are better than our own. Try as we might, our human attempts will always fall short of the power and holiness of God's divine approach. We can rest in His presence, assured that our past is redeemed, our present is empowered, and our future is secure. God is faithful to trade our failures for something better.