It’s easy to see heroes of the faith in Scripture. People such as Abraham, David, Peter, and Paul. We also are pretty familiar with the “B-list” characters – like Ruth, Jonathan, and Stephen. And of course, we know the “villains” well.
But there are a lot of other people in Scripture that are easy to overlook – they’re not villains, but they’re not stars, either. People like Andrew – the one who brought Peter to meet Jesus. Or those four unnamed friends who pushed through crowds and finally cut through a roof to bring their broken friend to the One who could heal him. Or Barnabas, who quietly supported and encouraged those weak in the faith, building them up, and making peace a priority in the church.
These are the unsung heroes. They don’t seek attention for themselves. They stay in the background- support characters. They’re not the ones at the front lines – but they’re the ones that keep the front lines strong.
There are a lot of great Christians in our world today. Heroes like Billy Graham, who recently received His reward from Christ. He was a gifted evangelist and impacted the lives of countless people during his time in the world. When the Lord called Billy home, many people expressed how He’d encouraged them, challenged them, influenced them – and many commented on what a celebration must have been going on in Heaven.
And I agree. I’m sure there was a great celebration taking place that day. But I also think that Billy Graham received the same “welcome home” as the humble and unassuming usher who saw Billy and his friend hanging around the camp meeting in 1934 and invited them in, finding them seats, placing them in the perfect position to hear the Gospel.
I think Peter received the same “welcome home” as the thief on the cross, who had only chosen God a few short hours before his death.
And I think David received the same “welcome home” as Dorcas, who was simply identified as someone who cared for the poor.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel like what I’m doing is making a difference. It’s easy to compare myself – to the heroes, the stars that we so frequently study in scripture, or my own personal heroes like Nancy Wolgemuth, or my father, or even others in my church. Am I really making a difference? Is it enough? Will my work last? When someone is suffering, is my simple behind-the-scenes prayer worth it? Does bringing someone food really matter? Do my words really count?
My knee-jerk reaction when someone else asks those questions is, “Of course!” But when it’s me, when it’s personal, when it’s my fear, when it’s my friend, when it’s my failures… it’s hard to find the truth.
That’s when I have to ask myself the hardest question of all: who am I serving?
If I’m serving others, or if I’m serving myself, then no, it won’t last, it won’t be enough, and I won’t make a difference. But if I’m serving God, then yes – a thousand times, yes! It will always be enough. It will always be worth it. It will always make a difference – whether I see it now or in 10 years from now.
Because it’s the unassuming people in Scripture who made the most incredible difference. People like the little boy who gave his lunch to Jesus, and the woman who opened her home to Elisha.
Regardless of who I encounter, and when, and why, I always have an opportunity to be the best supporting character I can be by bringing them to Jesus – whether that looks like praying with and for them, providing a meal them, giving them a ride, or finding them a seat at church.
The mark of a true spiritual hero is found in their faithfulness to always point to Christ. Some people are called to do it on a stage and to reach thousands – but far more of us are called to do it quietly, in our homes, in our neighborhood, at our work. Our impact may not be the same as Billy Graham, but God is just as pleased with our faithfulness as he was with the widow who gave her last coins.
The stars have impacted my life, yes.
My dad, who constantly encouraged me to walk by faith and step out of my comfort zone.
My mom, who quietly provided support by making sure I always had what I needed, whether a good meal, or a shopping trip, or an impromptu prayer when I got overwhelmed.
The countless people around the country who prayed for my family when my father died.
My church family that provided money, food, transportation, and anything my mom and I needed those first few months.
Cameron, who held me when I cried and reminded me of God’s love and faithfulness.
Let’s not get too caught up in the stars of our faith – let’s be thankful for them, but let’s remember that the real star is Christ. Ultimately, we are all supporting characters. Let’s make Christ our focus. Let’s strive to be the best supporting characters we can be.
Let’s be like Andrew –
In a word: passionate.