Beauty and the Beast

There’s Beauty in the Beast

Nathan Smith Christian Maturity, Life Skills

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Over the past month there has been much ‘talk’ about Disney’s new rendition of the classic story ‘Beauty & the Beast’. Due to some of the promotion of the film and the way the director described some of the scenes and objectives of his version, many in the Christian community have had concerns. I am all for concern. I believe we are called to concern ourselves with the well-being of our children and should be mindful of the situations and circumstances in which we willingly place them. My concern, however, has more to do with the arrogance and brashness both sides of the issue have operated with as they have blasted the other on social media. I have seen Christians vilify each other over NOT GOING to see the movie and despise other Christians FOR GOING to see the movie. The point I want to make in the next 800 words or so has nothing to do with going to see a movie or not, but to remind you that there is beauty in the beast. Let me explain…

When issues get bigger than the people we are having the issues with, we start down a slippery slope of judgement and self-righteousness. Are there things in life that deserve to be debated and scrutinized? Absolutely.  Do we have a responsibility to weigh the issues and to be careful to not get swept up in the spirit of the age? Without question. But we also have responsibility to value one another and be patient with each other, demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit that we are wanting the world around us to experience. Remember, I’m writing this concerning the activity I’ve witnessed among Believers in Jesus. I’m not talking about people outside of the church at all at this point.  When one side takes a hardline stance and you disagree with it, ask God if He is calling you to bring the entire internet into correction or if He simply wants you to pray for unity among believers? ‘Winning’ an argument may make you feel better. Receiving the approval of the the Lord as you patiently love and honor a fellow Christian can help us win the world. (Click here to read my post on polarization called ‘It’s Both’)

Who Would Want To Be Like ‘Them’?

Yes, I understand that you are concerned that your friends will think you’re ‘like them’ and you don’t want to be lumped in with ‘those Christians’ on the other side of the issue (for or against).  But can I suggest that when you ridicule and tear down the believers on the other side of the issue that you are doing the very same thing of which you are accusing ‘them’?  When you refuse to remember and honor the beauty in the other person you become a beast and then we’re left with two wild animals swiping at each other’s throats while the enemy stands back and sips his piña colada. The enemy is plenty happy to let us do his job for him so he can focus on other things. All the while we make our camp proud of us and we break the heart of God by tearing down each other for the whole world to watch. You don’t have to agree on everything in order to be on the same team. When I get on an airplane I don’t care if the captain and crew cheer for Auburn or Alabama (though they should obviously cheer for Auburn – #WarEagle). We are heading in the same direction regardless of our opinions, no matter how important they may be to me in that moment. My desire is that they successfully get us where we are going and that we land safely. I’m focused on that objective and I’m happy to help in any way I’m needed to get us all safely to our destination. Can you make the parallel? (Click here to read my post ‘Don’t Do The Devil’s Job For Him’)

I am in NO WAY saying your concerns are invalid. I truly make no judgment call on if you should or shouldn’t go see a movie. I am saying that you should do what God has given you peace to do with a clear heart without vilifying the other. If the movie leads to the destruction of modern society, trust God to be bigger than the spirit of the age and be humble enough to help those who didn’t see it coming when they repent. If it turns out everyone was up in arms about nothing at all then be humble enough to love your brothers and sister who were simply trying to do what they felt was best. Be patient with each other. Don’t boast over your brother. You look ugly when you do it and God deserves a beautiful bride. How awesome that He yet sees the beauty in that ‘beast’ that you are arguing with on the other side of the internet or that’s sitting on that pew two rows over. Let’s desire to be more like Him than we desire to be ‘right’. When we deal with each other humbly and allow for each other to make mistakes or have a change of heart we show the world something supernatural. That is more ‘magical’ than anything Disney will ever be able to create. (Click here to read my post ‘Being Authentic Might Be Ruining Your Life’)

From the Bible

‘It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.’ – Proverbs 20:3 NIV

‘Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.’  – 2 Timothy 2:23-24 NIV

‘But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.’ – Matthew 5:22 NIV

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