Introducing my good friend Amy! She’s going to tell us about what makes a person a true hero:
I was playing a game with my family recently. A judge would ask a question, and people would write down answers. The judge would choose the best answer, and the person who wrote it down would get a point. When I was the judge, I asked a question I’ve been thinking about recently.
What is the most important quality for a hero or heroine to have?
Some of answers that my family came up with were “Powers”, “The Brian.”(she says she meant brain…), and an answer that pretty much came down to “The Quality of being like You.” I chose, “The Quality of being like You”.
The question got me thinking. What is the most important quality for a hero or heroine to have? Sure there are important features, smarts, skills, courage, and inner/outer strength, but you can take all of these things away, and still have a hero. This hero might fail miserably in their quest, but they are still, at their core, a hero.
Finally I came up with the thing that makes a hero a hero. They need to be good. Not good as in skilled, or able to complete the task well, but good in their hearts.
A hero needs to be a good person.
Now, you may disagree with me, but I think that a hero that is not good is no longer a hero. A “bad” hero does not exist. At that point, they are just the lesser of two evils, which may be what is needed in your story, or realistic, but they are not a hero.
As a Christian, I know that God defines what is good. If God is good, and defines what is good, then you can only be a truly “good” person by loving what God loves, and rejecting what God rejects. Obviously, no one is perfect but Jesus, but rejecting sin and evil and chasing after God, is what can make a person “good.” (I say “good”, because only God is good, Mark 10:18b says, “No one is good except God alone.”)
Even things that our culture does not consider wrong, things like lying, adultery, pride, or impatience should be at least acknowledged as sin by our heroes. Of course, not hero should be perfect, and maybe these sins are an area for our hero to grow, but too often these days, even in Christian books, heroes and heroines lie without feeling guilty about it. Good people, people after God’s heart, may push away sin for a while, but always end up confronting it, and being transformed to be more like God.
No one reads book without being unaffected by it, and as authors we should try to write books that affect people for the better. Our heroes and heroines should be people that our readers admire. The culture slowly can convince us that sins like impatience, and pride are fine, even good characteristics to have, because their heroes have them, but we know better. Lies heard a hundred time over are still lies, but they seem more convincing. If books we read say over and over again that lying is okay, that pride is a good quality, and if heroes, by their actions, say that some sins are okay to do, then that lie seems a lot more convincing. As Christian authors, our heroes should reject sin, and spurn evil, and encourage readers do the same.
Heroes today are many things; smart, brave, talented. But these things are not essential to be a hero. The single most important quality for a hero to have is goodness. A hero without goodness is just the lesser of two evils, but what makes a true hero is that at their core, they desire to overcome evil with good.