OR: Tips for Christians in the Secular Workplace
Yes, I watch “Supergirl”. Don’t laugh at me. When Warner TV ran marathon episodes of Season 1 a few months ago, I got hooked. There’s something about the story of this fictional superhero that attracted me, and I found myself drawing parallels between the storyline and my spiritual life.
Here are the top 10 “lessons” I got from watching Kara Danvers a.k.a. Supergirl that are maybe worth thinking about:
- Supergirl, like other superheroes, has a day job that doesn’t overshadow her real mission.
(Or at least she did in Season 1). She may be an office assistant of a media bigwig by day, and she enjoys being one, but she never forgets who she really is deep down. She is always acutely aware of her real purpose in life, and that is to use her power and extraordinary ability to help people.
Sometimes, our day jobs have a way of swallowing us up—dreams and all—in tight schedules, deadlines, exciting activities, strong friendships and office relationships, that often make us forget the real reason why we’re here in the first place. That is the reason why the superhero in us seem to hate having day jobs and would rather be doing things to answer “the calling” full time. But just look at how Supergirl does it. You’ll learn a lot.
2. Even superheroes need friends and helpers to man mission control.
Supergirl doesn’t work alone. Even while she’s busy battling it out with monsters out there, she is in constant communication with the Department of Extra-Normal Operations manned by her sister and people who actually care for her.
We were not meant to fulfill our mission and calling alone. We are meant to be in constant communication and fellowship with our church and our caregroup.
3. Kryptonite may look cute and harmless, but it could actually kill you.
To others, kryptonite is just a valuable specimen from outer space, a rare meteorite. To Supergirl, it means the loss of her power, utter weakness, or even death.
Little things that unbelievers embrace on a regular basis may actually be harmful to Christians. Take for example, today’s popular music loved by millions that may, in reality, be carriers of a spirit of depression. To unbelievers who have never experienced the inexplicable joy of knowing Jesus, feeling down and depressed may just be a normal and natural part of everyday life. That’s why they drink a lot and do drugs. But for people who have an abiding relationship with Jesus, it does have an effect on the general atmosphere—whether we admit it or not. It could actually rob us of our joy.
4. Supergirl knows what her core gift is, her so-called “competitive advantage,” and she uses it to the max.
She knows she has powers that not everybody else has, a power that is very much needed in the world. Who else can do the things she does? To deprive the world of her gift would be unthinkable, an evil thing to do.
We should never forget that the Spirit of God living inside us can enable us to do things other people can’t. Most especially if you happen to be the only Christian within a hundred square meter radius in your area of influence, that is, your workplace. To deprive others of Jesus’ love, compassion, and supernatural power would be just plain evil. If somebody nearby suddenly falls sick, for instance, unless there’s another superhero Christian nearby, the responsibility of praying and declaring healing for that person lies in your hands, and no one else’s.
5. Supergirl exudes fearlessness in the face of what looks like impending defeat.
Try suspending disbelief for a while and watch Supergirl being held in a powerful chokehold by a crazy Kryptonian. You can see the fear of imminent death in her eyes. But then suddenly, through sheer effort, or a sudden burst of determination, she breaks loose and subdues the enemy. Or J’onn J’onzz or Superman rescues her. The point is, Supergirl has looked at death in the eye and survived.
Our pastors in church would always remind us, “Feel the fear, but do it anyway”. Yes, the fear of failure or rejection or embarrassment or even death could paralyze us for a second, but because we know and trust Him who holds our life in His hands, we can burst forth with new strength. We feel the fear, yet we do it anyway.
6. She considers her mission more important than her to-do list.
Being the boss’ assistant, an all-around gofer and office problem-solver, Kara Danvers has a lot on her plate every single day. Yet when superhero duty calls, she doesn’t hesitate or think about an important email she has to send, or an urgent phone call she has to make. Faster than a speeding bullet, she goes up, up, and away.
Have you ever received a call or message asking for prayer or a visit right in the middle of work, and you think, “What the heck, I’m busy”? Then suddenly, something shakes you out of work-mode and then you realize “Wait a minute…this is what I’m living for, this is the very reason I’m working right now”.
7. Supergirl accepts the fact that some characters hate her for no reason.
Who could hate someone that cute and lovable and saves people from crime and disaster? Who could ever hate somebody who has nothing but goodness in her heart? Yet, villains exist in Supergirl’s world—villains who hate her with such deep hatred they wanted her pulverized or beaten to a pulp, or blown apart. Supergirl doesn’t waste time asking “Oh, why hate me so much?”. She accepts it as part of her life, and her world.
Christians who actually step outside the comfy confines of churchlife are often shocked to discover the sheer number of Christian haters out there—people who hate God because they have been offended by Christians in some way. People who block them on Facebook just because they often quote the Bible. People who see Christians as bigots and hypocrites just because. People who enjoy God-bashing as a hobby. People who see evil as good and good as evil. But we should not allow these things to hurt us. Accept the fact that, as Jesus said, “People will hate you because of Me”.
8. Supergirl knows it’s okey to use supernatural powers in the workplace.
Supergirl wouldn’t hesitate to use her eyes’ powerful rays to heat the boss’ morning latte. But using supernatural powers in the office has its limits. There’s no need to attract undue attention, disrupt normal operations, or expose your being weird or different.
Back when I was a writer for a magazine, I was on my way to work hoping I could think of a good angle for my article before I reach the office. And I had to come up with an idea fast. I closed my eyes and talked to God about it. Then, all of a sudden, it just hit me. My article quickly took form in my mind from start to finish, every single word. Supernaturally natural. Or naturally supernatural.
9. She identifies with non-Kryptonians and adopts their welfare as her own.
She risks her life for a planet that is not her home and is concerned with the welfare of human beings, though she is an alien on earth.
How easily do we identify with and care about people whose lifestyles, origins, or social status are different from ours? Are we willing to risk our lives for people whose ways are alien to us?
10. She enjoys performing her mission, AND doing her job.
Probably one of the best proofs that Kara Danvers loves her job so much was when Cat Grant suspected her of being Supergirl and asked her to leave her job. Kara gave the the most touching “I love my job” speech any boss would love to hear.
Do we love our jobs with as much passion as doing it for the One we love?