We took our girls to see Cinderella over spring break last week. I don’t know why but Cinderella has always been my favorite Disney fairy tale, so I was pretty excited to see the remake of the old classic myself. To my surprise, outside of some live-action scenes and special effects, this new version stayed pretty close to the original storyline. From a purely entertainment standpoint, one might say that the storyline was a little lacking. There were no new angles to the story, no surprise twists or even a modern spin to it. For me personally, it was a pleasant surprise because the purity of the story’s message remained intact and in some ways became more apparent. Even though Cinderella is not a Christian movie per se, I was able to take away from it a few nuggets of wisdom that made me think of truths from Scripture.
The message of the movie hinges on the words of wisdom that Cinderella’s mother passes on to her daughter on her dying bed. She says to Cinderella, “Have courage and be kind.” It all sounds very nice but what does it really mean? As the movie progresses, we are able to connect her mother’s advice with Cinderella’s words and actions. On Cinderella’s first encounter with the Prince, not knowing who he really was, she states emphatically that “Just because it’s what’s done doesn’t mean it’s what should be done.” Later on as she is about to face the Prince again, the narrator says, “Would who she was really be enough? There was no magic to help her this time. This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take—to be seen as we truly are.”
In the world of social media we live in today, it’s so easy to build a façade of how we want to present ourselves and our lives to the world. It takes courage to strip down and expose yourself as you truly are without any pretense or filters. It takes even more courage to stay true to yourself, your beliefs, your principles, your purpose, even though at times, you may be going against the flow. But that’s what God calls us to do, to not be influenced by the ways of this world but remain strong in the truth of His Word. Romans 2:12 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Being kind to those who love you may be easy but what about being kind to your enemies? Jesus challenges us in Luke 6:32-33, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.” Jesus goes a step further in Luke 6:35-36 where he says, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” We are to basically kill our enemies with kindness. Cinderella’s kindness did not stop even when her kindness was never returned, even when she was bullied and mistreated. At the very end, we see that her kindness endures when she turns to her stepmother and says, “I forgive you.” Cinderella’s mother believed that “where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic.” I have to agree and I believe that the magic that happens when we love our enemies is God’s transforming grace.
Have a blessed rest of the week!
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