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Bible Devotional #14: Mum's the Word (Batman)

Part of what makes Batman the enigmatic, super-slick champion we extol is the way he can masterfully uncover any clue, capture the most treacherous criminals, and escape any peril.  Whether zombies are pulverizing Gotham or a shark is pulling his leg, Batman can surmount anything—AND he can do it all by himself.

Ironically, the world’s bravest loner has comics’ largest extended network.  From Nightwing to El Gaucho, Batman would never have to go it alone.  So why does he so often?

For the same reason we sometimes do—because it’s impossible to be invulnerable and vulnerable at the same time.  Especially today—when you can do everything from ordering groceries to carrying out a romantic relationship entirely online without leaving your room—it can be hard to open up to people.  I don’t mean tweeting or texting them; I mean genuinely letting down your walls and being honest about whatever is on your mind with those (who should be) closest to you. 

Have you ever neglected friends from high school because you don’t have any big news to “impress” them with?  Have you gone through grueling times without shedding any light about them to some friends because you didn’t want to be embarrassed or burden them with your problems?  Have you had significant information that would be difficult for people you care about to deal with, so you kept it from them thinking you were protecting them?  I have.  Batman has.

The recent “Death of the Family” story arc reveals that Batman has been harboring a huge secret: Joker has been to the Batcave (and, thus, may know the identities of the whole Bat clan).                                            

Batman keeping this troubling information from his friends ended up causing a lot of tribulation.  Several of Batman’s comrades were kidnapped and almost killed.  “Death of the Family” ended up referring to the “death” of the trust everyone had always put in Bruce.

If you hold things in, it probably won’t lead to your loved ones being kidnapped by a maniacal clown.  However, it can take its toll on you and them.  If you have a problem or secret you should share but don’t, a lot anxiety can build up within you.  Stealing something from a classmate, telling a lie about a coworker, being diagnosed with a serious condition—such things are a lot to deal with alone.  Not opening up can cause you to lose sleep and miss out on comfort from friends. 

It could also make a bad situation worse, while reaching out can nip it in the bud.  For example, if you’re struggling in a class and discuss it with your parents, they can help you get help.  But if you wait until you flunk, it will be too late and will be harder to overcome.  Or if you go through a heartbreak alone, you isolate yourself and perhaps alienate people who care about you.  But, if you talk to a friend, they can give you a shoulder to lean on and offer insights from their own experiences. 

Being open and honest with others can also make them feel more comfortable about coming to you if they have a problem in the future (Luke 6:31).

Jesus was a very straightforward person, but I’m sure it wasn’t always easy for Him, either.  Telling His friends about hardships they would endure in the future, telling His family He was going to die—the news He had to deliver wasn’t always “good” in an immediate sense.  But it was better in the long run.  They were able to better prepare for what they needed to do in the near future and for eternity.  And Jesus’s friends, in turn, gave Him comfort and aid while He was on earth.  

God gives us loved ones to comfort us when we are down (Proverbs 17:17), to enhance our good offerings (Proverbs 27:17), to aid us (Proverbs 11:14), to just be there for us so we never have to feel alone.  After all, two (or more) are often better than one.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV).

Don’t feel like you have to hold everything in.  Even Batman needs a Robin.  Utilize God’s gift of the ability to build friendships and to share things with those friends in bad times and good.

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