Off-Topic Thursday: Stopping Short of a Spiritual Truth
One of my favorite movies is “The Green Lantern”. While this might not be a specific “Disney film”, I imagine that most people who enjoy Disney movies (like I do), also would like this one. One thing that impresses me about this movie (and the key reason it is listed among my favorites) is that it includes a powerful spiritual lesson.
For those of you who need some background, the premise of this comic-book based movie is that in the universe, there are delegates from all the different sectors who are given the task of managing peace throughout the universe. What brings humanity into this knowledge is that for the first time, a human has been chosen to be on this intergalactic force to represent our sector. The one qualification primary qualification for the members of this force (called the Corps), must be completely fearless using the power behind the “Green Lantern” representing “Will Power” or the power of choice. However, as a human, the main character does have fear, although he is pretty obnoxious and tests the limits of what can/cannot be done.
The opposing force (the main bad guy) in the movie is a being that completely encompasses the power of fear, and who is bent on proving that fear is stronger than will power.
As the movie progresses, it develops the theme that we have the choice to choose to be fearful or courageous. What is very interesting though, is what is never actually said, but strongly implied. This spiritual truth the movie stops short at revealing is implied as the reason behind the Green Lantern’s victory. (Sorry for the spoiler, but what comic-book movie that wants a sequel would kill the main character?)
So what is the spiritual truth? 1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
While I am not going to say that our superhero friend was ‘perfected in love’, as the enemy looks as though he is about to win, he starts to talk about all the things that he will do to kill off humanity, and while this might bring fear and destroy confidence in some people, this act is a subtle way of showing the main character all the things that he has loved and all the things he could lose. Instead of caving to the pressure of fear, the realization that he could lose the girl that he has fallen in love with, as well as all the other things he loves about our planet inspires him with the will-power and purpose to make the choice to be courageous and fight that much harder.
While the movie doesn’t directly say that love was at the root of the main character’s victory, I am confident that many of the film-makers understood this spiritual truth when they wove the script together. Perfect love casts out fear, and it inspires choices that will help others. Jesus demonstrated God’s perfect love for us when He came and took the punishment that we deserve.
So are we living in a spirit of fear about what might happen in the future, or are we stepping out in faith, perfected in love, knowing without a doubt that we can be successful because Jesus already has defeated the devil and saved us? Will we choose to be courageous with life, or instead to sit on the sidelines and believe the lie that we are defeated? The choice will always be ours to make, but only one choice ends with us becoming everything that God created us to be!
In the comments below, would you share how are you living out and showing Jesus’ love to a hurting world, and how you are being courageous with the power of Christ’s love?