This was the first year in 10 years that my youngest brother was not Spider-Man for halloween. He sadly reported to me the day after halloween, “I didn’t have a Spider-Man costume that fit.” Literally, since he was 4 years old he has been Spider-Man every year. At that ripe young age he was the kid who didn’t take the costume off, ever. It was peeled from him in his sweet slumber so that my Mom could wash it and return it to his body before he awoke. As the youngest, he also had, what our friends now inform us was, a mullet. The baby of the family had long ringlets all the way down his back and Mommy couldn’t bear to cut them yet. So our little Spider-Man with the strawberry blond ringlets is a picture none of us will ever forget.
But this Spider-Man fad (that has lasted over 10 years) was not just about an obsessive 4 year old. It’s amazing what comic book characters can teach you. In fact, until today, I don’t know that I had fully realized it myself.
Spider-Man found himself with something he did not seek out; a skill, a talent, a power. And it was something he did not necessarily want. At times it was a gift and at other times it was a curse. And throughout comic books and movies he battles with it. He uses it as a gift to benefit himself and others. He also uses it as a curse to hurt others. And sometimes, he tries very hard to be rid of it completely. But he can never succeed in that task. It is a part of him. A piece of who he is.
And as it goes, the whole premise of the Amazing Spider-Man hinges on a single sentence.
‘With great power comes great responsibility.”
I recently began attending a women’s Bible study at our church. The first lesson I attended was on Jezebel – a strong-willed, controlling woman; something I can be guilty of myself. But what was realized in this lesson is that I (nor anyone else) do not have to be ‘guilty’ of being strong-willed, or powerful. God gave me these attributes not so that I could spend a lifetime being stripped of them, but so that I could use them effectively under God’s covering and learn when to pipe down and allow God to use them in me. These attributes are gifts from God. But they are responsibilities as well. And as we all know ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ A gift from God, meant for good, is what our enemy will go after, to try and make it into a curse.
In the beginning, God gave Eve as a gift to Adam and satan took that gift and made her into something less than what she was supposed to be.
If God has given me a strong-will, the enemy is going to attack that. He’s going to try to make me go overboard with it so that I’m left believing that it is something negative. With that thought, I will proceed to pray for God’s assistance in ridding myself of this “sin” that is in me. I will then spend my life trying to not use something that God actually gave me to use for His glory.
It is my responsibility to use the gifts I have been given under God’s authority and to redeem them from the negative ways that the enemy has prompted me to use them.
God created each of us for His glory; a gift to Himself per se. And the enemy continually attacks each and every one of us, trying, everyday, to turn us into beings that will curse God rather than bless and glorify Him. It is our responsibility to use our lives, our talents, our personalities, to bless His name and to continue to be a living gift (living sacrifice) for Him.
We return to Spider-Man, who was given something he often deemed as negative, something he tried to be rid of on more than one occasion. Something he cried out against, with a desire to be what he thought he should be as a person. But he often forgot, or refused to realize, that it was a part of him. It was a piece of what made him who he was. His job, his responsibility, was to harness the power, the skill, the talent, the personality, the attribute, and to use it for good. To use it for God’s glory.
God has given you the power to influence others and to be a light for Him in your own unique way. Are you misusing or trying to subdue or hide that power?
Seek God and learn how to harness it.
What is your gift turned negative? What is your trait the enemy tries to turn into a flaw?