Superheroes & Self-Control

I appreciated this short and very ‘Captain Sun-ish’ blurb from Joe Carter in a recent Gospel Coalition newsletter. Hope it’s encouraging to you as well:

“There are two basic types of comic book fans—those who are partial to Batman and those who prefer Superman.

Both characters have their unique set of abilities and character traits, but there is a constraint they share that makes them heroes. Consider Batman, who refuses to kill his enemies. There are a lot of people in Batman comics who think that Batman should kill his archnemesis, the Joker (even the Joker has said so). But our hero refrains because of an internal constraint. In a similar way, Superman is so powerful that he could take over the world—or at least a small nation—and be its sovereign ruler. Yet he doesn’t abuse his power for his own purposes.

These superheroes share a superpower that keeps them from becoming supervillains: self-control.

Self-control can be defined as the ability to control one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors for a higher purpose or a greater good. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that self-control is a superpower. Self-control gives a person true freedom and empowers them with the ability to do things that those who lack self-control can’t do. As Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Being a warrior that can take a city sounds powerful. But Scripture says that having self-control is even better and makes you even more powerful.”

Amen! May Jesus, the Hero of Heroes, grow us in this very way!

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