“If you could have one superpower, what would you pick?”
Chances are you’ve been asked that question at least once in your life. So, what would you pick? Flight. Super strength. Invisibility. Speed. They’re all good choices. In Shazaam!, the new DC Comics movie that opened this weekend, a fourteen-year-old boy is suddenly transformed into an adult superhero with several of these powers. Along with his new powers come some new dilemmas, including how to figure out which powers he has.
“Can you fly?”
“I don’t know. How do I find out?”
And so begins a series of hilarious tests where Shazaam tries to find out if he is fireproof, super-speedy, super-strong, able to leap a tall building in one bound, and able to fly. Unless he tries—really tries—to do what seems impossible, he’ll never find out if he can.
Did you know that you have been given a superpower, too? The Bible says you have. If you are a Christian, you have been given a gift by the Holy Spirit to do something in his strength that you could never do on your own.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them…. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:4, 8-10)
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8)
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides….” (1 Peter 4:10-11)
But how do you know which gift you have been given? And how do you know how to use it?
There are books on spiritual gifts and written tests and inventories to try and identify your gift or gifts. But the only way to really know if you can do something is to try. “But I’m not good at teaching,” you say, or “I’m uncomfortable with leading.” But we’re not talking about what you can do. We’re talking about what the Holy Spirit can do through you. It’s a supernatural gift. A superpower.
It won’t always be easy. The results won’t always be perfect. But if you believe the Spirit can work through you and you’re willing to try, you’ll find you can do more than you ever imagined.
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Stories are a metaphor for life. That's a deep way of saying we can learn life lessons from stories we read or watch on stage or on big or small screens. When viewed through a Christian worldview, even secular films and books can tell us something about our Christian walk. Here you will find a collection of blog posts with lessons I have learned from stories. I hope you enjoy them!