Answer Lesson 078 – Choosing the Right Hero

Key Verse

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright.
— Psalm 37:37

Choosing the Right Hero

Hebrews 11:32-40; 12:1-2; 1 Peter 2:21

Trying to decide who to write about helped Marcus see the importance of godly character in his role models.

“Hey, Marcus, I thought you were supposed to be writing a paper. What are you staring off into space for?”

Marcus glanced up at his older brother, Hudson, who had just entered the room. “Oh, I just can’t seem to get started. I don’t know what to write about.”

Hudson raised one eyebrow and asked, “Well, what are you supposed to write about?”

“Heroes—anybody in the present or past history who we think of as a hero.”

Hudson grinned. “That doesn’t sound so hard. Let’s see, there is always myself, your fabulous older brother. Or, perhaps some lesser character such as Superman, Batman, Captain America, or maybe Iron Man . . .”

Marcus gave his brother a look. “Big help you are! I can just see how Mr. Barlow would react if I wrote something like that!”

Hudson hitched a chair up to the table and sat down. “Okay, I’ll get serious. Now, just how would you define a hero?”

“That’s easy—I already looked in the dictionary. Matter of fact, I even wrote it down.” He picked up a piece of paper and read, “Any person admired for his qualities or achievements and regarded as an ideal or model.”

“Good. Now, who are some of the other kids writing about?”

“Oh, Martin Luther King, Jr., the President, and people like that. I’ll admit those people have qualities I admire, but to say one of them is really my hero . . .” His voice trailed off. After a minute he continued. “I mean, there are kids at school who I can admire something about. Max Henderson has a brain that’s as sharp as a tack, but he’s far from being a hero of mine. He doesn’t get along that well with the other kids, maybe because he’s so much smarter, or something. Eden—you know her—well, she’s a fantastic debater, but she doesn’t have the least bit of interest in religion. Wesley is super at basketball, but that’s all he talks about, and . . .”

His brother nodded. “You know, Marcus, indirectly you’re making a point that is very important when we consider who to look up to as a hero. Some people may have qualities we admire very much, but it is important to look at their whole life before we decide to pattern after them. They may not be a good influence at all in many aspects of their life.” He paused for a moment, and then went on. “It’s true enough that all of us can learn something by patterning after the right kind of person, by choosing the right heroes.”

Marcus sighed. “So now we’re back to where we started. Who?”

“There’s a verse in the Bible that just came to my mind while we were talking,” Hudson said. “You had it for a key verse in Sunday school a month or two ago. ‘Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright.’ That’s the kind of hero you’re looking for.”

“Well, there are lots of characters in the Bible that were really heroes,” Marcus commented. “Remember, not too long ago we did a whole quarter on people used of God. We learned how patterning our lives after godly men told about in Scripture would help us become good examples in our world today.”

All of a sudden, a big grin spread across his face. “I’ve got it!” He pulled a couple of sheets of notebook paper in front of him and picked up a pen.

“C’mon. Don’t keep me in suspense after all my help!” Hudson gave him a poke. “Who’re you going to write about?”

“Well, Mr. Barlow said we could write about anyone in the past or present. So I’m going to write about someone I’ve loved hearing about ever since I was just a little kid, a guy who really had a lot of courage. I’m not sure if Mr. Barlow has ever heard of him before, but I know his story. His name was Gideon.”