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When we were kids, we’d play would you rather. Would you rather is a game where you ask each other ridiculous questions and then take turns picking the answer that you “would rather” do. Pretty simple, yet surprisingly entertaining. We’d ask each other questions like would you rather be really short or really tall? Would you rather be in a zombie apocalypse or a robot apocalypse? Would you rather live in the hottest desert or in the coldest part of Antarctica? Would you rather date Drew Barrymore or Alicia Silverstone? (It was the 90s junior high version of the game apparently.)

Eventually, without fail, our games of would you rather always ended up on the topic of superpowers. Would you rather be really strong or really fast? Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or be able to see through walls? And of course—the most famous would you rather question of all—Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible? (That’s a tough one to be honest. I think I’d like to fly because it’d be a lot more fun. Invisibility does have its perks though, especially since I’m an introvert.)

There’s a point here. When you think about it, we’re all answering would you rather questions every day. This game isn’t just for kids; it’s not just pretending. These are decisions we make in the real world. These are the questions that determine the priorities we have, and the answers we give mold us into the people we become. You can tell a lot about a person from their responses in the real-life game of would you rather.

Would you rather let someone else get the credit at work or take it for yourself? Would you rather eat out every day or learn how to cook food at home? Would you rather stand up for the bullied kid at school and get punched in the nose or keep quiet and look cool in front of your friends? Would you rather be strong but have to go to the gym, or be out of shape but get to sleep in?

These are the kinds of questions we must answer, and sometimes this game isn’t very fun or entertaining.

Then, of course, even in the real-world game of would you rather, we always get to the topic of superpowers. I’m not talking about the Superman make-believe kind of superpowers; I’m talking about the kind of superpowers that God has given each Christian by the Holy Spirit. These are things like the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the virtues that can only be produced by the Spirit.

Christian Superpowers

You are gifted.

At our church we’ve been studying the gifts of the Spirit, and it’s been fun going through each of the gifts and trying to determine what gifts God has given each of us. The gifts of the Spirit are given to us by God’s grace and according to His will. Our job isn’t to choose the gifts that we want, but rather to discover them.
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” [1]

Some have more visible gifts, like teaching and leadership, and others have more behind-the-scenes gifts like service and giving. For each of the gifts that we’ve been given, we’ve also been given a measure of faith to operate in the gifts, and this is determined by God too.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” [2]

Take note of the first part of that verse about thinking highly of yourself. I’ll get to that in a minute. The point here is that you’ve been supernaturally gifted by God, and we have the privilege to go out and use the gifts for His glory.

You are fruitful.

It’s not only the gifts of the spirit that we’re supernaturally endowed with, but also the fruit of the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control …”[3]

Thankfully, we don’t have to choose which of these we get to have. By the Holy Spirit, we’re entitled to have them all! This is the important topic of abiding in Christ and walking in the Spirit. The closer we are to God, the more fruitful we become. And this is possible for all of us. The Christian life is really a growth process where God is the gardener. He’s watering, pruning, and cultivating us for a fruitful life in Him.

You are humble?

The third category of superpowers that we’ve been given is what I call Christian virtues. These will include the fruit of the Spirit of course, but also include other things like honesty, humility, justice, compassion, trustworthiness, hope, and others. In this group are attributes that we see in Christ. God is good, and Jesus is the image of the invisible God,[4] so all the things that Jesus does and teaches are good!

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience”[5]

Within this group of superpowers is that little word humility. If we were playing a game of would you rather, I wonder if humility would be a go-to answer? Would you rather be rich or humble? Would you rather be a strong leader or be humble? Would you rather have charisma or be humble? Thankfully, I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive, but the reality is that when compromises are made, humility is often the first thing to get cut.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

It’s hard being humble.

Honestly, the challenge is that when God starts to use us, and we start walking in His power and gifting, we slowly but surely start to think that it’s somehow because of us. Other people will fan the flame too.

“So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”[6]

If we’re not careful, pride will take over, and we’ll start to think that we’re something great.

Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
when you’re perfect in every way.
I can’t wait to look in the mirror
‘cause I get better looking each day.[7]

Everything depends on this.

The thing about humility is that it’s essential for every other Christian superpower we have. I don’t want to say that it’s the most important attribute on the list, but I’ll say that every other gift, fruit, and virtue depends on this one thing: being humble.
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’”[8]

Our access to all the power of the Holy Spirit comes to us by God’s grace. It’s not earned or deserved. It can’t be worked for or obtained through self-effort. It’s all by God’s grace, and we receive it by faith.

So that leads us to this very important question: Why is humility so important? The answer is because without humility, God’s grace isn’t available to us. Not only is God’s grace not available to us, but God Himself will actually start working against us!

Without humility you become the villain.

This is scary because with pride comes self-deception. We can deceive ourselves into thinking everything is ok. We become like the Pharisees who looked so good outwardly, but inside they were dead. “Everything is great,” we think. “We’re still doing the works of God. We’re gifted, our ministry is powerful … everyone says how good things look.”

You know who else was very gifted, powerful, and beautiful? Satan.

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”[9]

The greatest villain of all time started out as one of God’s most wonderful creations, but he fell because he lacked humility.

Would you rather …

Let’s get back to our real-life game of would you rather and our Christian superpowers. My prayer is that all of us will be a little more thoughtful about the place of humility in our decisions. It’s really very important, and sadly there’re so many other things that we’ve been choosing lately. What are our ambitions? What are we living for? What are we willing to compromise on to get it? Before you’re tempted to sacrifice humility for success, remember these words:
“Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble with it.”[10]

That means stay humble, stay little, stay small in your own eyes.


Choose humility even if it means missing out on all the greatness and success you think you need. At the end of the day, it’s better to stay humble if it means staying closer to God.

Make humility a priority in life. The world relies on pride, the devil lives on pride, our flesh is full of pride, but by God’s grace, we’ll choose humility. It’s through humility that every other gift, fruit, and virtue become available to us!
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”[11]


[1] 1 Corinthians 12:11 (NKJV)
[2] Romans 12:3 (ESV)
[3] Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV)
[4] See: Colossians 1:15
[5] Colossians 3:12 (ESV)
[6] Acts 3:12 (NKJV)
[7] The song is “It’s Hard to be Humble” by Mac Davis
[8] James 4:6 (NKJV)
[9] Isaiah 14:13–14 (ESV)
[10] Proverbs 15:16 (ESV)
[11] James 4:10 (NKJV)

Brian Kelly is lead pastor at WestChurch, a church he planted in Bradenton, Florida. For the past twenty plus years, he has been involved in church planting and mission work in East Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. Brian has a passion for planting churches and has hands-on experience seeing churches grow from the ground up. He is also a member of the CGN Executive Team.