Friday, August 20, 2010

Quoting Redeemed Girl's Response...

I have not yet read Eat Pray Love, nor have seen the movie yet - BUT I have heard good things about it. My sister(s) have read the book, probably my mom too and most spoke highly of it's entertainment factor, as well as the movie (I mean, who doesn't like Julia Roberts?! She's adorable). My sisters and mother know the Lord, and I am confident that when reading/watching EAT PRAY LOVE, they enjoyed the discussion of travels, the appeal of seeing the world, and the good writing/acting of the characters involved without a thought of pursuing god-likeness rather than following Christ.

However, I have been taking in quite a bit of commentary about it all - on both sides as of late ... and I'm beginning to see that we have to be careful with the underlying messages of the things we take in... what is it really saying?

Now hear me before you go on (because I'd imagine some of your are already turned off to this post)... I'm not an advocate of boycotting things. Honestly, it often makes me nauseous when "Christians" boycott a movie, book, etc... because often times it just creates the opposite reaction from non-believers than what the group hoped to accomplish. I cannot help but think, "okay, so you're boycotting Harry Potter because it's 'bad' but how many things in your own daily life could you focus on changing/not doing instead that are not pleasing to the Lord?!" I guess, I often think of the "plank in your own eye" verse when that stuff comes up! (Matthew 7:3-5).

But don't get me wrong, I have come to realize that we must be careful what we put into our hearts and minds... because often times, what goes in, also comes out. But even more than that, I believe it's important that we are AWARE of the messages the world is speaking around us (same tricks from the enemy, just different packages) and work to utilize these moments to share the HOPE that we have! To speak Christ into the lives of those around us - not by saying "ewww! That's bad you read A, or you watched B", but instead utilizing the topics that were presented in A & B and sharing the truth from your own walk with Christ.

In the same way, I believe we can totally use this movie/book (EAT PRAY LOVE) as a chance to share our purpose in life and the purpose EVERYONE is invited to find - not a purpose within or about ourselves, but regarding the Glory of our Savior! I challenge YOU today, and even more ME, to be bold in sharing our faith if/when this movie, book, or any opportunity presented by God comes up around us.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

I probably will check this book or movie out in the near future - borrowing it from someone or catching a flick with my Mom if we have a girls weekend - one, for pure entertainment value, but even more importantly for having the knowledge of story to be ready to share like 1 Peter 3:15 above...

Check out this lady's post below - she has read the book... I thought it was worthwhile to share! Let it marinate a bit and I'd love to have some feedback.
August 14th, 2010 - Marian Jordan

"Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in."      - C. S. Lewis

Women today stand at a dangerous crossroads. On one side, there is the way of the world with a carefully crafted message beckoning us to follow (along with the masses) “the way that seems right to man” (Proverbs 14:12). This way says, “put yourself first,” “it’s all about you,” and “do whatever it takes to make you happy.”  While the world is terribly convincing and this way does, indeed, seem right…ultimately, as Scripture teaches, this “way” of seeking self-first leads only to death. What kind of death? Well, I’ll elaborate on that point more in just a minute.

The best-selling novel, Eat Pray Love depicts the world’s message in an enticing and beautiful fashion and if the reader isn’t discerning she can get sucked into its empty vortex and believe its lies. The blockbuster film based on this book releases today, starring the adorable Julia Roberts. Eat Pray Love is the biography of Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman dissatisfied with life who decides to ditch her loving husband and successful career to “find herself.” 

Gilbert sets out on a year-long journey to Italy, India and Indonesia in hopes of discovering life.  Her self-discovery quest follows the way that says “it’s all about you” to such an extreme that the philosophical religion/worldview that she embraces by the end of her journey is one that teaches that she, herself, is god.  She is ultimate reality…and that truth, life, and meaning lie within her.

I read Eat Pray Love while vacationing this summer. While the travel junkie in me loved revisiting some familiar places and the girl in me whose faced head on the issues of emptiness and longing understood her desire, I couldn’t stop myself from repeatedly getting frustrated, tossing the book on my beach towel, and telling my friends how I believe with all my heart that the message of this book is both seductive and deceptive to women.

I’ll make this simple and cut to the chase. Bottom line, …we are not god!

While reading this book, I thought of my mom. Raising seven kids, scraping by to pay bills and trying to keep her sanity amidst the chaos. Would it have ever occurred to her to ditch it all, run off to Italy, and eat gelato! Why yes!  I’m sure every woman in the world at times wants to run away from it all. But thankfully, my mom didn’t run. The reason? Because fundamental to her worldview was the belief that the world doesn’t revolve around her! She sacrificed and put the needs of others before herself, not because she wasn’t “evolved” or “enlightened” but because she “loved.” First she loved Jesus and then she loved her family.  She chose a different way, the way that says “no” to selfishness and embraces life in Jesus. And I’ll tell you one thing…I don’t know a woman in the world who has more joy.

That’s why I think the message of the world is so incredibly dangerous. The attack on women is subtle but deliberate. Tempting us to believe that happiness will be found if we seek ourselves first and ditch anything or anyone that hinder that pursuit.  This message plays out in all ages and generations and is the leading cause of addictions, affairs, abortions, abandonment, and abdication of roles.

I said at the beginning of this blog that women are at a crossroads. Yet, thankfully, there is another way we can choose, it is the way of Jesus…the way of life. Jesus invites us to follow Him.

 Friends, I’ll be honest, I’ve tried both ways. The way of the world with it’s deceptive lures that says, “It’s all about you,” and at the end of that path I discovered, me—my emptiness, my sin, my inabilities, my insecurities, Me. Me. Me. Me.  (Vomit!) Trust me, more of myself is not the formula for happiness. The reason? To seek life in self is the most miserable of all journeys.  As C.S. Lewis said, "Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in."

The way of Jesus is the way of real, abundant life because our souls find Something to eclipse the vulnerability of our finiteness.  We long to get lost in the Infinite, and that is exactly who Jesus is….Infinite, Glorious, Almighty, Sovereign, All—Goodness, All-knowing, All-Loving.  As Louie Giglio says, “He (Jesus) is the I AM and I am the i am not.”   To seek life in self is the most futile and bankrupt of journeys…leading only to despair and regret.

Following Him, seeking Him, trusting Him, and knowing Him is the way of abundant life. I’ve followed Him and worshipped Him in both Italy and India and in every country in between. Along the way, I’ve discovered the truth: When our souls are consumed with the One who spoke the world into existence and we are lost in worshipping Him, we discover our true joy, our true purpose, and our true reason for existence. Yes, girls, in finding Him, we find life!

It is my prayer for each of us that today we will all eat, pray and love…

Eat…The Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, the only One who satisfies the hunger of our souls. (John 6:35)

Pray…To the God who hears, the God who sees, the God who moves mountains to answer our prayers!  (Luke 11:1-10)

Love… Experience the ocean of grace and mercy that flow from God’s heart to yours in Jesus Christ, quenching the deepest desires for acceptance and questions of value and significance. After all, the Bible teaches,  “God is love.” He reveals what love actually is and it is His love alone that consumes hearts and minds and cast out all fear.  (1 John 4:7-19)

Jesus said…

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
“I am the way, the truth, the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

1 comment:

Rachael said...

Thanks SO much for sharing this. You both nailed it. I've been wanting to see this movie, too--Julia is adorable and I WILL go to Italy some day--but I can def see how the "all about me" message would play out in this film. That mindset is so pervasive--and it's so frustrating to see so many people(myself included) fall into that lie. I have to constantly remind myself of the facts--God put us here for him and his purposes alone. Thanks again for sharing,(and I may just re-post on my blog, if you don't mind?)