“But I’m nothing without this suit.”
“If you’re nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
-Peter Parker and Tony Stark (Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2017)
I’ve watched this movie a couple of weeks ago and these lines struck me. How? In superficial cases, did you ever feel naked when you go out and you realized you didn’t have your smartphone with you? For the ladies, do you feel less beautiful when you didn’t spend two hours doing your make-up? (I know some. Haha) And for the guys, do you feel incomplete if you can’t bring your car (I’m talking to myself. Hahaha!) or you don’t have one?
Let’s get deeper. Do you feel less of a person without your job, title, or status? How ‘bout feeling down when you can’t meet the expectations of your loved ones? Do you care too much about your image?
Many of us, that includes myself, base our self-worth with the above-mentioned. Basically what other people think about us. We feel the need to be recognized or affirmed by others.
John and Peter (Juan at Pedro)
John the Baptist once said that “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:7-8)
He was talking about the coming of Jesus Christ. Now, the point is John knew his role. That he was just the one to prepare the way for Jesus. He was the “front act” of Jesus. He knows very well that Jesus is the main Man. John wasn’t like the most of us. He is so secured with himself.
Unlike most of us, John knows that his worth is not dependent on anyone’s perspective but with God’s.
And to God, we are worth far more than anything.
Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man, unlike John, is so anxious to become somebody. To be an Avenger. And if you watched the movie, you know what I’m talking about. He wanted to play a much bigger role by doing all sorts of things that will make him a Super Hero. He became too obsessed with saving people that lead him to make a fatal mistake that almost caused the death of many.
He made two mistakes. First, he was trying to do what he’s not supposed to do, to be like Iron Man. He wanted to prove his worth by being someone he’s not. Second, he was too dependent with his hi-tech multimillion-dollar suit that Tony Stark gave him. He thought that it was the suit that gave him the right to save people. He believed he was nothing without the suit. Then Tony Stark, way beyond disappointed, took his suit after saying “If your nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
But Peter knew his mistakes and did “the amazing.” He made a decision to do what is right even if it meant doing it the hard way. To cut the story short, he made a super hero out of himself even without the suit, and consequently changed the disposition of his enemy. Wow!
Spoiler Alert: Then finally, Tony Stark offered him to become an Avenger with a brand new suit much better than the ones he had! It seemed like a dream come true for Peter. You would expect him to backflip with joy. But to our surprise, Peter refused the offer realizing he has a lot of growing up to do. He decided to be a “friendly neighborhood” instead. Tony, shocked with his decision, was impressed with Peter’s maturity.
Both John and Peter are okay with playing a minor role. Because they knew that they wouldn’t be lesser of a person by stepping down. They have learned to not base their self-worth with their status, title or image. They knew the importance of the roles they play.
Bros and Sisses, there is no more important perspective than how God sees and thinks about you.
You are so important to God that his love for you is unconditional. He doesn’t say, “I’d be happy if you would impress me every day.” Rather, he’s saying “I’m happy because YOU ARE.”
Your self-worth is God’s unconditional love for you.
And when you realize that this kind of love is given to you, you would never see yourself the same way as before.
Peace be with you.
Mark Lester Fernando