By GJ Frye
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”
A recent film titled “Courageous” seeks to identify and portray exactly what it means to be tested and what happens when courage overcomes.
Proceed, but carefully, as this is not an average review. It is not intended to be a review of the film, but rather a review of the human heart.
“Courageous” is about the importance of fatherhood, faith and integrity. Courage plays the key role in applying each of these elements to the lives of the characters. The movie centers around five men and their families and how, through an intimate spiritual wrestling match reminiscent of the one between God and Jacob, they lean on their Father to be better fathers themselves.
While this theme of fatherhood cannot be applied directly to many of the students on Olivet’s campus, they can still grow from it.
Fatherhood, above all else, is about leadership. Learning to be a leader who follows Christ is epitomized by the role of a father in a Christian family. Just like fathers, each Christian must learn to carry the cross of communicating Christ’s message through every action and decision made.
Fathers must be examples of faith to their children just as Christians must be examples of faith to believers and nonbelievers alike.
Keeping faith through any tragedy is a challenge. Adam, the central character in the movie, encounters the tragedy of losing a loved one, which is not uncommon in the world today. But Adam embraces the tragedy and his faith grows, resulting in seeds of faith planted in his son, wife, friends and co-workers.
Faith must be kept as a priority, if it is left as a secondary option, children of God will question their Father as soon as the storm begins to stir. When we keep our faith through trials, we can be better examples of Jesus to the world.
It will also build our integrity as it did for Javier, who had to make a choice to do the right thing, even when it was hard. He chose integrity in the workplace and decided that his promises to God were worth losing his job. However, when he chose to do the right thing, his faith was rewarded, just as ours will be.
There will be trials we may be scared to face, but courage would have no reason to exist if there was no fear. In John 16:33,
Jesus said, “You will have troubles in this world but take heart! I have overcome the world.” Now try replacing the words “take heart” with “have courage.” Courage can be found in the heart of anyone who believes there is something more important than the self.
Those who build integrity in the small areas of life – school, relationships and work – will find courage more abundantly in the areas in which fear flows more abundantly.
Since “Courageous” is a movie made by Christians, generally attracting Christians, it is easy to pinpoint biblical messages conveyed. But the Holy Spirit still moves.
God is bigger than IMAX, and when millions of moviegoers devote their attention to a screen for two hours, God will use the scenes that flash on that screen. After all, Hollywood is the stone on which the entertainment industry lies, and God will make
it cry out for His purpose even if it wasn’t made for that reason.
If God can make the stones cry out for His purpose, than He can make the scenes of any film, Christian or secular, cry out undeniable truths, as well.