Skip to content ↓

You Want to Be a Spiritual Hero?

You Want to Be a Spiritual Hero

There is a longing in all of us—or most of us at least—to rise above obscurity and to be known for our greatness. Even Christians can long to be among the great. This is the subject of this little excerpt from Matthew Redmond’s The God of the Mundane.

There are two kinds of pastors, in the main: those who speak at conferences with green rooms* (I’m not kidding; they have green rooms—with spring water, I guess) and those who want to do so. The men who led our churches into faithfulness have little gremlins tugging at their ego, telling them they are not doing anything special unless they are being distinguished.

How could they possibly have any other message besides one in which the listener walks away with the purpose of doing something special to change the world? All for the glory of God.

I mean, who would want to be a person no one has ever heard of? What kind of person just goes about their business in this rock-star culture? What pastor or pew-sitter wants to remain nameless, living in year-in and year-out obscurity—especially when fame and reputation and notoriety are ripe for the picking? Why would we be Greta Garbo, dodging the public, when there’s YouTube?

But I say: Be nobody special. Do your job. Take care of your family. Clean your house. Mow your yard. Read your Bible. Attend worship. Pray. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Love your spouse. Love your kids. Be generous. Laugh with your friends. Drink your wine heartily. Eat your meat lustily. Be honest. Be kind to your waitress. Expect no special treatment. And do it all quietly.

You want to be a spiritual hero? Distinguish yourself? Ironically, you have to give it up. This sounds like “lose your life so you can save it” for a reason. Being nobody special will feel like losing your life, maybe the life you’ve dreamed of in front of the mirror. In front of the pastor, or as a pastor. But to distinguish yourself in our world, you must be happy about being a nobody.

* Tim’s note: I have been in many green rooms. Typically green rooms are merely a tiny, isolated room somewhere in the basement of a church or other venue where speakers can have a few quiet moments to pray and go over their notes. I have yet to see one that offers spring water. Trust me when I say they sound far more posh than they really are!


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (March 2)

    A La Carte: The only way out of our desperate hypocrisy / Are Evangelicals too hard on men? / 9 healthy ways to respond to criticism / Is God disappointed with me? / 4 snapshots of dispensationalism today / Logos and Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Help The Persecuted)

    This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. Help The Persecuted rescues, restores, and rebuilds the lives of persecuted believers in the Islamic World through spiritual support and tangible help. Every week, they send out an email with specific, real-time prayer requests of persecuted believers to their global Prayer Network. You can join the…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (March 1)

    A La Carte: Rumblings of revival among Gen Z / Addition by subtraction / Seeing red / Burying the talents of the Great Rewarder / Inviting evaluation of your preaching / Book and Kindle deals / and more.

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?