Everything needs a hero. A victor. A triumphant being who comes out on top victorious, whether in battles between planets, kingdoms, and families or with their own souls. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, makings, backgrounds, and personalities.
What makes someone a hero? What is a hero? What are qualities that a make a true hero? Why are they worthy of the title?
Could a hero be someone who is one of the main characters? Not really. A hero doesn’t nessessarily have to be a main character. Being a main character doesn’t immediately make someone a hero. Think of villains. Villains are normally main characters too, but they’re never heroes. And there are side characters who are also heroes, but are not main characters. So being a main character doesn’t immediately make you a hero.
Does saving someone make a character a hero to cheer for? It depends, but not normally. Sometimes a bad guy will turn and save someone but that doesn’t make them a hero.
Being witty and humorous isn’t really hero qualities either. You might become close to characters who make you laugh, giggle and smile. But that shouldn’t hid the points they might be thieves. Or pirates. Or silly sheriffs who are too afraid of their own shadow to chase off lawless men (yes, I did see a movie where the sheriff was like that).
And being gosh-darn handsome shouldn’t have anything to do with it either. Can a hero have all these qualities? Certainly! That’s wonderful if they do! But it’s not what makes them. If it does, then what is your standard for heroes?
I believe this is what makes a hero: When they do what’s right in God’s eyes. They might not know that exactly (sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t). But when they do what God calls ‘right’ or ‘good’ and don’t backdown, then that makes them heroes. When they learn lessons Biblical lessons and then put them to use–that makes them heroes.
This does not mean they will never make mistakes. Making mistakes is how they will learn. It does not mean they will never sin. Heroes can fall into sin just like anyone else. And it does not mean they will never have bad habits or the like. But the difference between mere men and heroes is that, even though they both make mistakes, the heroes are the ones who will correct themselves, try again and persevere in the right direction. Heroes do the right thing.
I want to take a look at a couple of my heroes.
We’ll start with Robin Hood. Robin Hood is a hero. Why? Because he did what was right. How? He fought tyranny; which is very un-Biblical and against God’s way of government. Robin Hood fended for those who couldn’t. He battle injustice. He stayed loyal to the true heir of the throne and lend other men in the same cause. He’s also a thief. So, he has some repenting to do. But I am no longer ticked off by his thievery. He had a larger vision then most men do today which I greatly admire (take Flynn Rider. He was also a thief. And yet he had no large vision.) Robin Hood is a hero in that way.
Of course, next is Sherlock Holmes. A real hero. And yet a puzzle. Holmes, even with his problems (a large one being pride) is a hero too. Why? He helped his fellow neighbors (and often the police) by lending his amazing skills as an observer in the form of a detective for hire, earning his own money by helping others. And in giving his assistance to his customers, he saved other lives by tracking down killers and unwinding mysteries to bring lawbreakers to their justice. He is my hero in that way.
Judah Ben-Hur; I can’t think of many characters who went through so much, learned so much, and experienced so much, right up to the saving power of Christ. He went from power to slavery to champion to redeemed. He went from brotherly love to deep hate to lust of revenge to great bitterness to the freshness of forgiveness. He made many mistakes but found redemption at the cross. There is a hero for ya.
This a new hero of mine. Luke Skywalker. He did what was Biblically right, fighting the feelings of hatred and hurt to the end and in doing so, spared lives. He saves the Princess, he saves Han more than once. He went through hard lessons (loosing his arm is pretty tough) and learned from them. He showed honor to his father but not the things he did. He learns, grows, matures, and becomes a true hero by the ending film, sparing the life of the one who had hurt him, who in turn, saved his life, bringing to mind ‘do good to those who hate you’ and ‘cast your bread upon the waters and it shall come back to you’ and ‘do unto others’.
And then I have one animated hero. The Beast. I love the Beast because he becomes a real hero at the end even though he seems to start off as the villain. The Beast learned to deny himself what he wanted for himself and his servants (ultimately, to be human again) in favour to Belle’s wish to return to her sick father. Giving up his hopes of becoming human by midnight, he should his true love by letting her go. Of corse, it wasn’t turned away. It came back–another ‘cast your bread upon the waters’.
This, to me, is just about the highest you can go as hero; to place others before yourself out of love.
That’s what makes one a hero.
PS Anyone interested in a post about villains? Lol