If you ever get bitten by a radioactive spider, as happened to Peter Parker who became Spiderman, then you will need to take the advice Peter’s Uncle Ben gave him. (Yes, I know it’s a comic strip but the value of the advice is very real).
There is a saying attributed to Uncle Ben that says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Peter received great super-powers after being bitten, but he needed to learn how to temper that power. He was not the first to utter these words and previous incarnations of this sentiment are attributed to such luminaries as Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt and Lord Melbourne.
The truth of the matter is that this statement, or one very similar to it was first made long before any of these men. These were the words of Jesus Christ, and I believe this saying is simply a reworking of the scripture from Luke chapter 12 verse 48, which says:
“Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.”
Why limit it to power?
The difference between the Uncle Ben statement (or Churchill, Roosevelt and others), and the words of the Bible is that the statement made by men is limited only to power. The Bible does not make that distinction but applies more broadly.
The Bible says that to whomever much is given, much will be required. This rendition can include almost anything. Those who have great knowledge, skills, abilities, wisdom, resources, finances, or anything else where a person is gifted with something above and beyond average can be included in this statement.
The worst thing, and I have seen it happen, is where a person has some gift or ability and either fails to use it, hides it, or worst of all, withholds it to gain some advantage. I’ve met people with tremendous knowledge about a subject, but they do not share it, so that they can be seen as the expert in that field.
This is a waste and an abuse of power. The reason God gives people gifts is so they can share them with others to help them grow. It’s not meant to be withheld and meted out as a trickle, especially for personal power or personal gain.
Use your power
What we must also understand is that every person is a super-hero. Every person has some skill, ability or trait that sets him or her apart from others. You could be a great sports-person, or have a financial reserve, or be good at business. You might be a great writer, or a photographer, or even a good listener that people who are suffering can turn to for comfort.
The point is, you don’t have to be bitten by a radioactive spider to be a super-hero, or come from the planet Krypton, or experience a lightning-charged chemical disaster to make you into the Flash!
What you have now and what you can do now makes you a super-hero. The challenge for each of us is to find and use our super powers to help others. This is the essence of Christianity: to be a servant. And to serve means to use your super-powers and abilities to help others.
Use you talents
God loves people who help others. Consider the parable of the talents in Matthew chapter 25, verses 14 to 30. The master gave talents (money) to three of his servants to use and trade with. The first two servants doubled the number of talents they received and were rewarded by the master for their work and their diligence.
But the third man hid his talent in the ground, believing his master was a hard and unforgiving person. He feared the master and did nothing. At the appointed time he simply returned the talent to the master with no gain. The master was furious and punished the servant for his failure to use the talent provided.
Now, while these talents were amounts of money in that story, they could just as easily have been the talents, skills and abilities we each have. Do you wish to be rewarded, especially by God? Then take your talents, whether money, skills or abilities, and use them in the service of others and you will receive the blessings of the Lord.
You already have a super-power, and maybe even more than one. What you will find when you use what you have, is that you will be blessed with more.
So don’t wait around to be bitten by a radioactive spider before you go out and help save the world. You already are a super-hero with extraordinary powers to help others right now. Just consider what you have and how to use it and God will bless you.
John Lemmon since retiring from work, now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” John is the author of a number of Christian eBooks, which can be downloaded for free on his website at http://freegiftfromgod.com/my-ebooks/. You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/