What Iron Man and Batman Say about Us
- Friday, September 12, 2008
He has showed you, Oh man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Two summer blockbusters tell us more about ourselves than we realize. The first movie, Iron Man, is an adaptation of Marvel Comic’s series about billionaire weapons maker Tony Stark who dons a suit of armor to fight those who use his technology to hurt others. The irony is that Stark’s product is weaponry, which always kills and destroys regardless of the intentions or ideologies of the user. Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is forced to overcome his own self-indulgence and lack of concern for others when thrown – literally, blown – into a world of realistic suffering.
The second movie is The Dark Knight. In the new Batman movie, we witness an all-too-human hero (Christian Bale) whose fight against evil is really a reflection of his internal struggle for a healthy heart and mind after personal tragedy. In The Dark Knight, as in all Batman movies, crime plagues the city and an evil nemesis shows up to wreak havoc, to test and tempt the heart of the superhero before the final fight begins.
Iron Man and Batman have two obvious similarities: both have “man” in their names; “man” is the last three letters of HUMAN. We all struggle with a dark side and have to get up each day and overcome it with God’s help. Like these two heroes, the only hope we have is by putting on a suit of armor (see Ephesians 6:13) which gives us the attitude, the mindset and the internal power of the Holy Spirit to generate supernatural living.
Like our superheroes, we want to see justice in the world. The thought that we could do something about world hunger, child abuse and exploitation, and AIDS makes our hearts beat fast. Good people are angered by the pain and despair of others. Watching movies about superheroes and loving mercy may cause us to think, but we must move on to doing justice.
Are you like Batman, praying to overcome the dark side in your own life so you’ll be ready to fight the good fight when called upon? Are you like Tony Stark before the change of heart, focused on your wants and desires? Or, perhaps you are already on a mission to do as much good and help as many people as you can? Today is a great day to put down the popcorn, suit up and start living before the movie is over.
- The Bible teaches that we can do “all things” through God. What do you need to overcome to feel ready for a new assignment?
- What are your strengths and how are they being used today?
Further Reading: Ephesians 6
Dan Johnson is the Lead Pastor of Next Church in Tacoma, Washington and CEO of the Next Leadership Association.
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