Recently at a bible study someone dared to say that one of our beloved bible heroes acted like a spoiled brat. The women immediately were up in arms. Bible heroes are heroes and therefore we overlook their flaws and make them somewhat godlike, but come on, truth is truth, and it’s actually beneficial to see the real person in the scheme of the heroic act.
You all know I am a huge Dr. Laura fan. I’ve been listening to her for almost 30 years. So it was no wonder that I imagined Jacob calling into the radio program as I studied the life of Joseph. As he gives Dr. Laura the background we hear, Jacob is in love with Rachel, but marries her sister Leah and has a tribe of kids with her because Rachel can’t get pregnant, even though (Dr. Laura gets impatient with these words) he doesn’t love Leah. Finally Rachel has a son named Joseph and the bible tells us Joseph is Jacob’s favorite kid. Joseph, as a teen, has a dream that one day his older brothers will bow down to him. Joseph, dressed in this flashy coat, goes out to the field to tell his brothers about his dream. Now right about here is where I’m thinking this is one dysfunctional family. So Joseph’s brothers take Joseph out on a walk and lose him and then go back home and tell their dad he was killed.
So I can hear Dr. Laura saying to Jacob, “What the hell were you thinking was going to happen?” At which point I usually think to myself and take a deep breath, “Buddy, do you ever listen to this program?”
You can actually do this with all the bible heroes. Moses’ parents and Dr. Laura, “Don’t have them if you won’t raise them.” Then to Pharoah’s daughter: “Give this child to an intact, two-parent home. Adopt an older child.”
To David’s parents: “I know you’re trying to raise your boy to be a man, but sending him out to places alone where he has to fight a bear? What the hell are you thinking?!”
Parts of these stories look so heroic that it’s easy to overlook the dysfunction they went through as children and only see the good these men did with God at their side. It’s easy to then say we have too much to overcome to get to a spot of actually making a difference but the bible shows us these thoughts are merely excuses. Everyone has stuff to overcome. The difference is in those who will do something despite their circumstances, and those who will wallow.
Which will you be? A Hero or Victim? It’s interesting, every Comic Hero that I can think of had a crazy childhood only to come out victorious. So what’s holding you back? You aren’t any different. Go out and do something heroic with your life. Teach a child to be a person of character, go out and feed some homeless people, go out and teach a class or coach a sport. Make a difference. The world is waiting for your gift.