100 Answers in 100 Days

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Sharing answers to the various questions of faith I have faced, and which others have been challenged with also.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ever Wish You Had Super Powers?

So Christmas has come and gone. I find that Christmas is the most hectic time of the year; we're constantly visiting people, and then the kids get Christmas presents and bug you all day long to play with them, or help set up this or that new toy. My son, of course, watches super hero cartoons, and so this year we have all sorts of super hero related toys; the costumes and the figurines and the DVDs. These all to help immerse my son in this fantasy world where he gets to be a super hero. The TV shows present super heroes with super human powers, opposing evil and always protecting the innocent. These shows teach good things to my children. And my son plays pretend constantly that "someone needs saving"! And off he flies to save the day. But he told me that he'd prayed to God, that God would give him super powers for real. And now the poor boy is starting to get impatient that God hasn't answered his prayers!

Now of course, God would never answer such a prayer, and us grown ups all understand why... We know that if there were a man gifted with super human abilities, there is not one who wouldn't use those powers for evil. For me it was an opportunity to explain to my son why sometimes Mummy and Daddy don't let him do things he wants to; that we are always thinking of his best interests even if doesn't look like it. It's a good reminder for us all. It may often be that we are as immature in our requests of God, not understanding what we're really asking for, asking for things we only think we want, not understanding the reality of actually receiving our requests. But it's certain that God will never give super human powers for we are all sinners by nature, unable to handle such power. This is why we have that well known saying "power corrupts". The only one ever entrusted with super human powers over which he had complete control was Christ. Any sinner given too much power will become corrupt.

My son's motives are surely pure; he really does want to save people like his heroes do in the cartoons. My son isn't ready to hear that despite what he expects of himself, he too would become corrupt. But I told him that God won't answer that prayer because being truly heroic is really about helping others even if, (or especially if), it puts you in danger. For what’s more heroic; for an immortal man to dive into a raging river to save a drowning child, or for a man who dives in without regard for his own life which he risks? But we’ve all been given various gifts with which we can be “super heroes” to someone. Our finances are a gift from God which we can use wisely to help others in all kinds of ways. We can use the gift of language to encourage and build people up, and to comfort others. But even with the ordinary human gifts we have, our sinful nature corrupts. We use our words to tear down and destroy lives; and money, of course, is a root of all kinds of evil! If we can’t even be good stewards of the gifts we do have, how can we think that God ought to give us super human powers!? I’ve spoken to adults who think they’ve got a case against God because He doesn’t, or hasn’t, made people “more super” than we are. But let’s consider how much more God has given us than the animals, and realize how wonderful He has made us, rather than how wonderful He could have made us. God has limited us in power because we can’t handle more power. God has limited us in power so that we might look to Him who has all power rather than to ourselves. God has limited us in power so that when we do heroic acts, they are all the more heroic. We believe that some day we who are in Christ will be resurrected in a new body which will be free from sin, and that this body will be without so many of the infirmities we face in life. When we are free from sin, we will be able to handle such a “super human” body. But our lives in the present are, in a sense, a kind of testing ground for us. Jesus said...

If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? (Luke 16:11)

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