MOVIES: 'Spiritual profundity' on big screen

by Phil Boatwright, posted Thursday, April 28, 2016 (2 years ago)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- "Am I not worthy? Doesn't God love me?"

A "no" response to those two questions isn't really reflective of God's nature. Indeed, countless Bible verses indicate God's love and caring for us. Guilt over past misdeeds can raise these depressive/destructive accusations; but more often, our faults and foibles are used by Satan to accuse us, or distract us, or separate us. Plain and simple, such feelings are satanic attacks.

It's rare to get spiritual profundity at the movies, but occasionally, Hollywood is helpful. The 2002 film "The Emperor's Club" points out that a person's character is not formed by one negative act. Nor, for that matter, one positive act. A life is made up of moments that reveal character -- moments that allow for development of that character. You're going to goof up. It's what you do upon realization of your wrongdoing that points to your character.

Name a biblical character other than Jesus who didn't at some point behave poorly.

"But they never did what I've done!" you may say.

How about when King David had a captain in his army head a disastrous battle, knowing the captain would be killed. David did this because he lusted over the man's wife and committed adultery with her. Can you top that offense?

As many movie buffs have learned from "It's a Wonderful Life," the things we say and do affect the lives of others. We must remember to trust God to intercede when we fall short, and know that God will forgive the repentant heart: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).

In the many film versions of "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens' parable reveals a sinful nature that generates lifelong consequences. But by story's end, Ebenezer Scrooge is able to rise above what he was to become what God wanted him to be.

Satan ceaselessly roams the Earth as a roaring and cunning lion, determined to destroy enemies -- the children of God. His fiercest attacks are aimed at those who desire to become more Christ-like. And he never gives up trying to convince us that God doesn't love us.

Ah, but God does love us.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Despite our weaknesses, God finds worth in every being: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

How much Scripture does it take to convince ourselves that we are precious to the heavenly Father? Know any of these verses by heart?

It remains important to consider our past transgressions, as they reveal mankind's flawed nature and remind us of our need for God's mercy, Jesus' sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit's leading.

If you are going through depression due to past offenses or even because you feel unnoticed or unappreciated, my prayer is that you will draw near to Jesus. Talk to those who center Christ in their lives. Pray and study the Bible. Put Him first and show kindness to others, whether or not your deeds are acknowledged by man.

Admittedly, my handling of this subject is somewhat simplistic. I'm not a psychologist. I'm merely a fellow follower of Christ who often finds it easier remembering failings over triumphs. So, please accept this article as a primer. Bible study under the tutelage of your pastor is suggested as a follow-up. Let this article simply be a reminder that we aren't alone amid spiritual battles (Matthew 28:20), and we need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) daily.

Phil Boatwright, in addition to writing for Baptist Press, reviews films at http://moviereporter.com/ and is a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In It," a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group.
Phil Boatwright, in addition to writing for Baptist Press, reviews films at http://moviereporter.com/ and is a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In It," a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group.
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