Proverbs 12:18, James 3:3-12, Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 21:23
I had just watched a film the other day which left me pondering on the complexity of humanity. Do you ever find yourself thinking "why did God make me just like me?" or "why didn't God make everyone else just like me?!!"
Well, I'd love to be able to say that I had been watching some highbrow intellectual film, but must confess that the trigger to this thoughtful head scratching was none other than X-Men: The Last Stand
If you haven't had the chance to watch it yet I'll try not to spoil it for you. In essence it follows the familiar theme of the other X-Men films:
- Humans with extraordinary physical mutations or abilities (Mutants) are seen as a threat by 'normal' humans.
- Mutants form a subculture to protect themselves and the 'normal' humans are seen as the threat.
- Some individuals from both sides try to work together for mutual harmony while other individuals try to destroy the other side.
- Vinnie Jones get's a couple of lines whilst wearing a humongous metal helmet?!
There some fantastic analogies in the film of life as a Christian and life as an X-man. I could chat for hours about the pressure to conform, being "in the world but not of it" and the power of prejudice, but someone has already done a much better job than I could in Christianity Today.
If you get the chance have a read of the article, it's really thought provoking.
The thing that gripped me the most however was not the issue of living with dual citizenship as a Christian in the 21st century, but the potential we have to build or destroy.
In the film, Jean Grey is a woman who possesses Telekinetic/Psychic abilities. (Please note that I'm in no way encouraging anyone to get involved with psychic stuff, actually quite the opposite) In fact she has such advanced abilities that she has the potential to do great damage. The problem that she faces however is that the ability (or gift) is so great, that it is bigger than her ability to handle it (control). She gets so driven by her inner passions and rage to the point that she ends up literally destroying the people she loves the most. It reaches the point where she sees that the only way she can stop this carnage is for her life to end.
Now you're probably sat there thinking "That's all very well and good Carl, but I aint no X-Man! So what has all this got to do with me?"
Well, just because you don't have mutant abilities doesn't mean that you don't posses the ability to do great good or great harm. Listen to this:
"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)
Do you remember hearing as a child."Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me"? The truth is that sticks and stones may indeed cause painful injury but it's usually the wounds we receive from hurtful remarks that scar us the most.
James said this to the early Christians:
"A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds."