I was stunned. A mixture of pure joy and uncontrollable curiosity began to set in. Nick Fury just said the words, “Avenger Initiative.”
As if the Iron Man movie wasn’t fantastic enough, I now learned that what would later be named the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was about to explode on the silver screen.
I know I’m not alone in the fandom of the MCU and all we’ve been able to watch on the screen. The Avengers are now a cultural staple in the world and we are better off for it.
If you don’t like the Avengers, I’ll pray for you.
But before we go on, let me hit you with some truth: superheros are not real.
Sorry to disappoint you.
It’s okay, I’m disappointed as well. However, we can learn a lot from the wonderful and dynamic characters that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created. These characters teach us about humanity, struggle, and the will to overcome all obstacles.
Now, you don’t normally hear the words “addiction” and “Avengers” in the same sentence, unless you watch the movies every single day (which we can talk about later). I promise you, all of this will make sense at the end.
If you’ve kept up with the MCU over the last few years, you know that these characters have had arguments, disagreements, and some pretty big and disastrous fights. Why would superheroes, who are “the good guys,” fight against each other?
Because no one is perfect.
Even those of us who are the wisest, strongest, and most powerful warriors in the world are just as messy as the next person. We all have struggles or triggers—things that set us off in our sinful patterns. And, we all have those people we can’t stand being around. We all have those foods we can’t stop eating. We all have those habits that aren’t healthy for us and cause relational damage.
Without understanding our imperfections and struggles, we will always try to fix our problems on our own. We continue to feel increasingly worse when we see just how powerless we are. The problem is: we will never realize that we need God and others in our lives to bring help and support in the areas that we struggle.
Like Iron Man, Tony Stark––a man who is extremely gifted and a warrior––he can’t seem to think outside himself long enough to really bring about substantial change. We can’t be like Tony Stark (even though he’s my favorite Marvel character). We must understand that we have issues, struggles, and blind spots. If we venture on this journey of healing from sexual brokenness alone, we are doomed to fail.
We first must understand our imperfection.
If we begin to understand our imperfection, we will see that teamwork is essential to victory.
Over a total of 18 movies in the MCU, it becomes more and more obvious that each member of the Avengers needs the others to be successful or victorious in their fight for the human race. Even though each member is imperfect and has their own struggles, the Avengers are stronger TOGETHER than they are apart.
This is an important piece if we are going to find healing from sexual brokenness: healing doesn’t happen alone. Teamwork—community that is committed to the healing journey together—is essential to victory!
Without the community of like-minded men and women who are working and walking through this healing process, you won’t find lasting freedom. Something we often say at Pure Desire is: “We are wounded in community and we are healed in community.”
This is both sad and true—we are wounded in community. People suck. They sin. They hurt us and mistreat us. That’s the reality. No escaping that.
This leads us to isolate and avoid people; avoid the pain that they can bring upon us. And, what’s the easiest way to avoid people hurting us? Avoid people. Don’t hang out with them. Stay away from community.
But this is the wrong approach. This approach leads to further guilt, shame, and addiction.
When we begin to work as a team—in community—we start to see that our powers work best when used together.
The best part of being a superhero has got to be the SUPER POWERS. Am I right? Simply stated, a superpower is: a power greater in scope or magnitude than that which is considered natural or has previously existed.
But, Trevor, superheros aren’t real. Therefore, superpowers aren’t real. Okay, sure. You got me.
Maybe we don’t have superpowers like the Avengers, but we do have a gifting that is unique to us and enables us to help others find victory. What is that gifting?
Dr. Ted Roberts, the founder of Pure Desire, says it this way: “The place of your greatest woundedness is where you are most gifted.” This means that at the point in your life where you have the biggest struggle or greatest trauma is also the place where you are uniquely and effectively gifted to serve and minister to others.
Maybe we wouldn’t call our struggles or woundedness a superpower, but look at what 2 Corinthians 1 says:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.2 Corinthians 1:3-6
The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that our difficulties, suffering, and struggles in life are the place we can uniquely minister to others. We have an experiential perspective when it comes to the areas that we personally have endured or suffered.
So what does that mean? It means that we are uniquely gifted to minister to and help others who have experienced the same difficulty as us. Put another way, you have a power greater in scope or magnitude than that which is considered natural or has previously existed.
See what just happened there? We are given a power greater in scope or magnitude than that which is considered natural or has previously existed through our experience of struggle, suffering, or difficulty. We are uniquely equipped and qualified to help other people in that area.
Your experience, your struggle, your suffering becomes your superpower. It becomes the place that God has greatly gifted you to serve and help others in the same spot. Don’t miss out on the blessings we receive when we get to use our superpower for the victory of others!
So, maybe this makes you want to go see the new Avengers: Infinity War, that’s great! Go see it! Don’t ruin the movie for me!
But, maybe this will help you see the importance of understanding that you are not perfect. That through your imperfection you’ll see your need for God and others to come alongside you. And, through community, you will see that God has equipped you with a superpower; a gifting that He has uniquely given you with to help others find and experience victory.
You might not be a superhero, but God has drafted you onto His team, given you the supersuit, and put you on the battlefield.
Trevor is the Communications Manager at Pure Desire Ministries. He has been in ministry leadership for 8 years in the areas of Worship and Student Ministries. Trevor has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and is passionate about people finding sexual and emotional health.