Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lessons from "Bad Guys"

I’m sometimes embarrassed to admit to some of the TV shows, movies, and their characters that I enjoy watching so much.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not talking about racy, violent, or vulgar genre.  And most of the time, I prefer good cop shows where I can cheer in the end because the bad guys were caught.  However, I seem to also enjoy the bad guy that everybody loves…the one who’s hated by everyone else on the show, but they seem to make me smile.  I think it’s fascinating that heist movies are so popular, and so ironic that we find ourselves hoping for the criminal to get away with the job. 

Last summer I let a couple of friends borrow my “Gone with the Wind” DVD.  I found it strange that they told me they couldn’t finish the movie because they were so disgusted with Scarlett’s character.  Apparently they couldn’t stand that she had so little virtue.  I questioned myself.  Not only do I love that movie, but I love her character.  I even considered naming my first child Scarlett, and I kind of regret that I didn’t.  Though, I still love her name, Victoria. 

So I asked myself why it is that I love Scarlett O’Hara.  Why do I love the “Ocean’s” movies?  Why do I love Raymond Reddington from the TV show, “The Blacklist”…the character who is supposed to be the most notorious “Bad Guy” around?

So I think to myself, “There must be something virtuous that draws me to these things…right?”  Aside from the part that Scarlett kept her sister’s and father alive during the aftermath of the Civil War, and the “Ocean’s” team exhibits intelligence in their dastardly deeds of emptying vaults, the only virtue that comes to mind is confidence. 

Imagine putting the confidence of these so called villains into the hearts and minds of the average “virtuous” Christian.  Ahhh…now we’re on to something.  I’m not going to all lengths to try to win the only man who never got weak in the knees over me like Scarlett did.  And I’m not interested in turning to a life of emptying out the vaults of casinos.  No doubt, I could never be as quick witted, as well-read, or as shameless as Reddington, but what if I had their confidence…not in the everyday run-of-the-mill kind of stuff, but in my spiritual life?

Imagine having so much confidence in your faith that you see mountains moved.  Doubt would simply be an insignificant word.  What about salvation?  It still amazes me how many Christians are unsure of their salvation and completely fear death.  That’s one thing that completely makes us different from other religions.  We are to have confidence in our salvation.  And speaking of fear…believers just like unbelievers have plenty of those.  Whether it’s fearing our economic future, or simply turning the lights out at night, they are real and legitimate.  But we’re told over and over again by God Himself in His Word that we are to not fear.  We should have confidence in Him as our Provider, our Protector, and the One who not only can but will meet all of our needs.

Having Christ in us is our confidence, and it’s written into the name we call ourselves, Christian.  We identify ourselves with His name, and our identity is important. 

Earlier this week, I was watching my current favorite TV show, The Blacklist.  The main character, nicknamed “Red”, a former government agent gone rogue and wanted for years by the FBI, who has recently made a deal to assist them in finding their most wanted, walks into a warehouse to hire a group of Serbian “bad guys” for a personal favor.  These “bad guys” were in the process of smuggling a Chinese scientist, whom they kidnapped for her highly sensitive germ warfare information, out of the country to deliver her to their boss.  Red didn’t know these guys personally, but he knew their organization and that they definitely had the skills he needed for his job.  What I found to be interesting is that even though Red didn’t know the names of these guys, they sure knew his.  He confidently walked into the warehouse, though with hands raised in the air indicating he was unarmed, and announced his full name. 

It was an impressive scene with several scary looking thugs brandishing automatic weapons pointed and ready to fire at our loveable bad guy himself.  With his head held high and several steps in, he simply stated, “Good afternoon, gentlemen, my name is Raymond Reddington.”  And all the weapons were lowered. 

I was reminded that we ourselves are to have that much confidence in our spiritual life.  No matter where we go or what we are doing, there are demons constantly trying to use their weapons against us.  But their weapons are useless when we combat them confidently with our own weapons of warfare, the Word of God and the authority that Christ has given us over those demons.  We should know that our name alone, carrying the name of the One with all authority, should be enough to make those dark spirits not only lower their weapons, but run away with their tails tucked between their legs. 

The problem comes when we don’t realize this power, and when those enemies of our soul know that we don’t realize it as well.  Do you call yourself Christian?  Do you realize how much power comes with your identity in Christ?  Do you walk in confidence because of it? 

No, we should not model our life after the “bad guys” that are so easily loved, but realizing why we are fascinated by them and drawn to their characters has helped me to remember some important things in my walk as a Christian. 

Thank you, Lord, for the confidence I have in You and because of You.  I know I can live confidently without fear.  I can confidently move mountains in my prayer life.  I can confidently go boldly to Your throne for all of my needs.  Amen.

Amie Spruiell 4/26/14


  1. Well this is a new angle on bad guys....that there confidence is to be emulated. WOW! Who would have thunk thus? We have the Creator of the universe on our side...what should we fear? NOTHING!!! Then why are we such chicken hearts. Step up to the plate, you Woman Warriors...get your bad on enought to be courageous and without fear!!!!!