Who is a Hero?

Posted: December 18, 2013 in Articles
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We all know what a hero is. Heroes help people who are in trouble. They face such dangers as rabid dogs, natural disasters, and burglars in order to help people who desperately need it. There is another danger though, and perhaps one more common than any of the before mentioned. One of the worst dangers that a person can face is disapproval and rejection, whether it be from family, peers, or your community. Sometimes being courageous means speaking the truth and risking such rejection. Are people who speak the truth despite the danger heroes?

The definition of the word “hero” according to Webster’s II New College Dictionary is, “A man noted for courageous acts or nobility of purpose, esp. one who has risked or sacrificed his life.” So heroes are people who forget themselves and try to help others or fight bravely for a just cause. Generally people think of heroes as people who run into burning buildings or dive into rough water to rescue somebody. They risk their lives to help another person and do brave deeds. These kinds of heroes face a threat against their physical beings. If a person was about to run into a burning building to save someone, for example, he would have to face the reality of being burnt or killed by the fire; a person who is a hero must overcome his fears about any physical danger.

People who speak the truth at the risk of being rejected face a different kind of fear. The Bible calls this kind of fear the fear of man. For one reason or another, nearly every person on earth is afraid of what people might think of them. They are afraid of being rejected, mocked, judged, etc.. When the time comes to speak out, most people are cowardly. They give in to their fears and remain quiet. It takes a lot of courage to be able to speak truth, God’s truth, when you know that you might be rejected and criticized for saying it. To us, these kinds of people are also heroes, but in a different way because they are overcoming a different kind of fear.

People who are brave enough to overcome this fear are just as heroic as “real” heroes. If somebody is trapped in a burning building, it would seem natural to try to help – even if it was a person you do not like. It takes a lot of courage to overcome both kinds of fear; however, helping people at the hazard of your own safety is instinctive while saying anything which is unpopular (usually the truth) and risking rejection is not quite as instinctive or natural, perhaps because no one’s life is in immediate danger. Speaking the truth is a fearsome task that one needs to be acutely aware of. We do not often get a chance to do something as dramatic as saving a drowning person, but we have the opportunity and the duty to speak God’s truth rather than to to give in to the fear of man almost every day of our lives. There are only a few who actually stand up for the truth and as a result, those who do seem all the more heroic.

Liam Goligher is one such hero to us. Look him up if you want to listen to him speak. You can hear him on SermonAudio (http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Dr._Liam_Goligher).

by Dink

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