October 14, 2018

Conquering the Darkness, part 2



“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”-- John 10:10 (KJV)

God is love. God’s desire is to empower us and give us joy.

Satan‘s job is to make us feel helpless and worthless. That’s who he is. It’s what he does. The enemy of us all can’t do his job alone. He has help.

Job

His story is a good example of how even our closest loved ones may weigh us down with their pride and accusations. Job loses his servants, his family, and his health. His wife tells him to curse God and die. The honorable man’s three closest friends say he must deserve his trouble. They accuse him of lying about being honorable and upright; he must have hidden sin.

Job calls his accusers “miserable comforters”. In modern language, he says, “If you want to throw stones at me because you think I’m a sinner, bring it on. Two can play at that game.”

Negativity = Toxicity

This article is the second of three writings on themes from the film: Unbroken: Path to Redemption. This movie is the amazing true story of the life of World War 2 hero, Louis Zamperini, immediately following his return to the U.S. Please read the first article here .

The theme we’ll explore this week is belittling, toxic messages.  Unkind words may be spoken aloud. The underlying meaning of certain communication may also devalue the listener:
  • “You’re not worthy of respect.”
  • “You’ll never change.”
  • “That problem will never go away.”
  • “Just give up!”

Some places are filled with strife; you can cut it with a knife. We don’t even have to leave the comfort of our homes to find it. With the click a few buttons, we’ll come across people who are angry with those who don’t fall in line with their political, social, or religious agenda.

Unbroken: Path to Redemption (spoiler alert)

World War 2 veteran, Louis Zamperini’s has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It often manifests as bad dreams, or visions, in which the former commander of his prisoner-of-war camp attacks and bullies him.  This most infamous of Japanese war criminals, Mutsuhiro Watanabe, is also known as The Bird.

In the PTSD episodes, the unbelievably sadistic leader beats, slaps, and yells at Zamperini. He belittles the ex-soldier with phrases such as, You’re a nobody. and “You’re nothing.

(Note: Japanese pop star, Miyavi, played Watanabe in the films. He was tremendously upset by the hatred and lack of mercy in the character.  The celebrity vomited and couldn’t stop crying while filming the torture scenes.)

 Louis allows such negativity until he becomes a Christian and gives up alcohol. The Bird appears one last time in a traumatic PTSD manifestation and repeatedly screams “Look at me!” Zamperini is now strong enough to calmly state “No!”, as he turns away from his critisizer—forever free.

The veteran goes on to a life of forgiveness and redemption. He becomes a top motivational speaker and touches the lives of thousands.

My Conclusion

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”—Revelation 12:10 (KJV)
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“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:8 (KJV)


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Whose words do you accept? (It’s that simple.)