It’s amazing what a cape can do.
Ask any child who puts on a superhero costume for Halloween.
They suddenly feel braver. Their confidence gets a boost. They believe that they can achieve things that they couldn’t before.
Actors understand this. Many actors report that they can more readily get in character for their role once they don the costume associated with it.
Interestingly, some actors identify with the characters they portray so much that they become real-life action heroes.
Tom Cruise has reportedly rescued people in real life at least six times, including coming to the aid of a woman set upon by muggers in London, rescuing a family from a burning boat in France, and helping the victim of a hit-and-run in California.
Likewise, action star Harrison Ford has pulled someone out of a burning car, and has used his own helicopter to rescue a stricken hiker.
The theory behind this phenomenon is called “embodied cognition,” and it might help explain how actors and others become their roles.
In the case of action heroes, acting brave in movies may lead to actually being brave. The more you practice something, the more you become it.
The key might be in putting on a costume or adopting a set of behaviours.
I think that’s why Scripture tells us to “put on” Christ.
Some translations say to “clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 13:14)
The more we emulate His behaviours and character, the more His attributes will seep into our being and transform us. Almost the way putting on a costume transforms actors.
“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” (Galatians 3:27)
As we increasingly adopt Christ’s nature, we undergo a process of transformation and sanctification.
“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4:24)
So this Halloween, consider putting on a new “costume”: that of Jesus Christ.
Put on His compassion, His forgiveness, and His love. It will make you braver, and you’ll be able to achieve things you couldn’t before.
Such as forgiving someone who has wronged you, facing challenges with the faith that God is with you, or standing firm in an increasingly hostile world.
It will bring the hero out in you!
© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.