Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Daredevil: Learning to Discern

If you’re like many comic-book fans, you likely spent the weekend holed up in front of the TV binge-watching Marvel’s newest small-screen superhero, Daredevil, on Netflix. My busy schedule and preparations for Cape Con this weekend didn’t allow me that luxury, so I’m not yet finished with the series. But, like everyone else, I’m lovin’ it so far.

Daredevil’s story is compelling. Blinded in a tragic accident as a child, Matt Murdock’s other senses compensated for his lack of sight. Having honed these senses to a superhuman level, Daredevil can taste the additives in a can of Diet Coke, track the scent of a particular perfume from two blocks away, read the newspaper by running his fingertips gently over the print, and uses echolocation to navigate the dark and often dangers streets of Hell’s Kitchen. Murdock’s weakness became his strength.

Christians can easily relate to Matt Murdock. Strength out of weakness is a recurring theme in Scripture.  Daredevil’s heightened senses also grant him an ability that all Christians should covet. By listening to a person’s heartbeat and smelling an increase in perspiration, Daredevil is a human lie-detector. He “sees” the truth buried beneath deception and dishonesty. This is the gift of discernment.

Now more than ever, Christians could benefit from Daredevil’s discernment. In the city of Corinth, a multiplicity of religions and world-views claimed to have the corner on truth much as they do today. Many of the Christians there didn’t know what to believe, so the apostle Paul wrote to them, saying, “You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God” (1 Corinthians 12:2-3 NLT). 

I think God still wants the same for us. Countless Christians today have likewise been "led astray" and "swept along" by unbiblical beliefs. Unlike Daredevil, we aren’t gifted with super-senses, but we do have the gifts of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. As Christians, our most-trusted source of spiritual truth is God’s Word. Jesus once prayed, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth” (John 17:17 NLT). We can also receive help from God’s Spirit. Jesus assured his followers, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

By developing a deeper relationship with God’s Word and God’s Spirit, we heighten our spiritual senses and eventually we can learn to discern like Daredevil. 

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